Alarm to Threat by Kim Mannix

Poet Name: Kim Mannix Poem Title: Alarm to threat Poem: 1. More frog croak than coyote howl, nightly cry – Is anyone out there? If I didn’t think it’d wake the neighbours, I’d scream. Just to dislodge it from my throat, lonely lump of fear and anger. Clear night, brisk. On the deck I count stars. Cosmic census. Cold creeping through my socks, into my skin, permeating my heels. If I freeze in place like Ötzi the Iceman, who’ll be here to find me in 5000 years? 2. In my top kitchen cabinet, I store Mom’s pitcher. The colour of milk, smooth. Looking at it is a comfort, yet I hide it. Well-kept, but still there’s dust. I took it down for Easter brunch. Found a spool of red thread inside, needle thrust diagonally through. Did I put it there? This memory another thing stored just out of reach. 3. Accept the Past, Embrace the Future, Live in the Present. Wisdom of the dollar store Buddha, also jammed in the top cabinet. I endorsed the sentiment. Once upon a time. Believed the horn-shaped seashell I found on Long Beach might’ve severed from a unicorn too. Relic of a past, magical by nature of its distance from now. Reminder that all creatures are temporary. 4. My daughter draws a frog. Green. Happy. I’m pulled back to biology class. Lay the frog on its back, spread out its limbs, pin them to the tray. Make a small incision with a scalpel. Cut up the center of the body, being careful to slice through the skin only. All the facts scientific dissection omits. My frog was female. Abdomen packed with black eggs. The resolve it takes just to be born. The luck. When mating or raising alarm to threat, some frogs call so loudly they can be heard a mile away. End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Kim Mannix Kim Mannix is a poet, fiction writer and journalist from Sherwood Park, Alberta. She has been published in several journals and anthologies in Canada and the U.S. and is a contributing editor of Watch Your Head, a climate crisis anthology. You can find her on Twitter @KimMannix, usually posting about kids, cats and music.