66. Not Yet Flying

The velvet bump

of tadpoles against my

palm, hundreds

of fat, black bodies

wiggling in the galvanized

tub, bodies my brother

planned to make bait or money.

My sister and I plotted

to release them,

half-legged and stubby tailed.

When we picked up the tub

between us, they sloshed

and plopped on the patio

like ripe cherries.

My brother sent

the bait man’s three dollars

away with a comic book

coupon and we teased him

when the thick envelope

arrived marked Joe Weider,

Trainer of Champions.

All that summer my brother

left his t-shirt on

to hide his belly.

My son’s sharp shoulder

blades stick out like wings.

We go to find tadpoles.

I want to show him how

their comet shapes sprout

legs and front arms and

stand-up eyeballs.

We kneel beside the sandpit,

barely a ripple in the water,

only carp, and a throaty

vibration from a clutch

of frogs.

— Lori Brack
Lori Brack’s work has appeared in The Packingtown Review, North American Review, Rosebud, and other journals. Her first chapbook, a poetic script for a work of performance art in collaboration with artist Ernesto Pujol, A Fine Place to See the Sky, was published in 2010.

One thought on “66. Not Yet Flying

  1. I like the picture of innocence presented here, with a little humor thrown in to boot. Nice.

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