Poem For A Haemorrhaged Frog

by Luke Otley

Something about you
broke my heart.
Something subtle
stung me
in the way you moved
around that pond
in the brick red morning
like an emperor of ancient Rome,
and I had to laugh
to hide the break, defensive,
always one to crack
a smile whenever somebody dies.

I wonder how we get so old
as I watch your smile
like tea leaves are watched
in the bottom of cracked china bowls,
and imagine I can read your loss
right there in your laughter lines.

It’s so cruel
to see you go this way,
so helplessly,
and I’m not comforted
by how natural it is;
when all what made you
you is escaping
and there’s nothing
I can do but wait
and watch
it pass
into the still
green water.