In Frogged Pursuit


My daughter wants to take 
a framed oil painting to school,

a nude with loose breasts and a belly
ripe as the full moon. Why? Because

we’re studying frogs, she says,
and it’s a frog. I cock my head

to consider the angle of the draped arm
but can’t get past the female form.

My daughter, though, is swimming
in amphibians, bringing home

scribbled pictures of tadpoles sprouting 
splayed feet. At night, she sleeps

in the bedroom I painted pink, 
her shelves lined with confectionary

teapots and cups. By day, she wants
to be her brother when she grows up.

Lately, she’s morphed into 
a creature who’d rather squirm free

than be held. O, how we see what we 
want to see. My daughter, looking at

a nude, sees a frog for show-n-tell.
I look at her and see myself.

“Amphibious” by Erin Murphy, from Dislocation and Other Theories. © Word Press, 2008

Everyone needs a poet in her life. My own personal poet doubles as my dear friend Deborah. Every so often, I wake up to a poem she’s left in my inbox. They’re always good; this one is exceptional. I can’t write a poem to save my soul. Well, the occasional limerick. But I’m lucky to have poetry — and poets — in my life.



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2 responses to “In Frogged Pursuit

  1. Erin

    I love this post and I love that D leaves you poetry.

  2. Terrific poem. I really like it.

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