“It seemed to me... that those times and those summers
had been infinitely precious and worth saving.“
“Once More to the Lake,” E. B. White
RIP Charlie Spanhake
2/6/13, aged 90, Wittenberg Valley Elder
The same day the papers announced the frogs were
disappearing—had already, without our noticing,
disappeared—a moose was seen down in the valley.
Well, I was right glad about that because after all,
when one thing goes, another comes along to take its place.
I believe that is written in the Bible.
I know I will miss my frogs; their voices keep the night
busy. They give the kids something to do in summer
leaping around in the pond muck.
Never in recorded history have we had a moose this far
south. But we’ve always had frogs, and now they
say frogs are vanishing—snap—like that.
I haven’t seen the moose yet myself, but I’ve sure heard
lots about it. It’ll be lonesome if there’s only one. At least
the frogs never had that problem around here.
Down the hill, when folks gather, I know they talk about me,
say I don’t keep up with all the newer ways, but what they mean
is I don’t like to listen to all their chatter.
Still plenty of frogs in my pond. Still no moose in my yard.
Still sitting on my porch swing waiting for the big
change. They say it’s coming. They say.