Boyhood Buoys (4): Frogmeat Sale

by on Nov 2, 2015

To earn a couple of yuan to buy some
Kerosene oil for our lamp in the house
I followed my neighbor, an older boy
To catch frogs in the middle of night

It was always a sure thing to do: where-
Ever we heard a frog sing, we would
Stealthily approach it, illuminate it
With torchlight, and pick it up with

All the ease we could enjoy. Sometimes
I did feel sorry for the frog: its eyes were
Shining bright under the summer stars
But why did it fail to escape from danger?

Early next morning, we would skin our catch
And went to the nearest town, shouting aloud
‘Fresh frog meat !’ like the frogs singing at the
Top of their voice, after dusk, in the rice fields


Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks, grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at 19, and published monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry (2009,12,14),  BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1089 others across 37 countries.