two poems by Vivian Prescott




The earth beneath our small bodies softened

            and, when the shaking stopped,


only our breath remained speaking to the hush

            of hemlocks in the grove behind us.


It was this split in the firmament: the place

            where silence goes, caught


in a time-wave patterning sound no-sound sound

            that at once swallowed us up,


only to spit us out crackling over creek rocks,

            gulls screeching through mist,


our own muffled bawls

            shrieking to laughter.

Young Woman Is Carried Away by Frog People

For my niece, Kiks.ádi yadí, Frog Woman



She was carried away to live with the Frog People

Who lived in a pond at the end of the road.

Pulled a slick green blanket over her body,

Sat knees bent with a wide-lipped grin.


She lives in a pond at the end of the road,

Dancing a new shape with a flip of her hood,

Wide-set knees and a bent-lipped grin,

Abalone buttoned eyes scattering pond light.


She shapes her dance with a flip of her hood

In the myth that makes her disappear,

Scattering abalone buttoned light across the pond

In a ten-dollar show at the tribal house.


In the disappearance that made her myth,

Her body stretched in a slick green skin

At the tribal house ten-dollar show,

She gets carried away dancing with Frogs.



Alison Scarpulla