Frog Chorus

I hate it when my daughters bicker.

Stop, stop, stop, I demand. Are you listening to yourselves?

They look at me oddly, and insist, This isn’t fighting, mom.

Recently, I’ve been forcing myself to close my eyes and simply listen to the cadence of their voices. Not the words, not even the tone, but only the rhythm and motion of their voices together. They pick at each other; they laugh; their voices dive at each other again.

Late this afternoon, I walked to our woods pond. Before I could even see the water, I heard the cacophony of frogs, so rusty this early in the season I might have mistaken it for a few stray geese. When the frogs heard my footsteps on dried leaves, they vanished under the water. I remained crouched for a good long while before the frog-chatter chorus cranked up again, a tentative bleat here, then another.

Walking back, I challenged myself to think of my daughters as those calling creatures and listen carefully to the song beneath their singing.

Old pond…
a frog jumps in
water’s sound.

– Basho

FullSizeRender
Woodbury, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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