Is it ethical to be a frog when the snow is on the ground? To be a frog in winter, in a sound mind and body of amphibious elegance? It isn't right! sing the bugs in their dens, we never got a chance to have amphibious elegance, we only got chitinous chic which is far far less groovy. The bugs grouse among themselves, crowding the rotting tree trunks, clicking and whirring and taking committee votes. But the unconcerned frog, who is not hungry for bug at the moment, casts no stones. There is no call to fiddle with all them bugs! thinks the frog to itself, preening in its winter mudhole. Meanwhile, Creator, in the form of Raven, listens in with amusement. None of these creatures know what's to come, or how blessed their lives are. Though that smug frog might need to be taken down a peg or two, he thinks. Maybe it's time to send in the crows. And of course the poets are listening to all this, and each one is writing notes, and all the notes are different. This is the blessing and the curse of poetry: that it never agrees and that it never agrees. Ethics? Maybe in the spaces between.


Published in But Then I Thought, above/ground press, Ottawa, 2024