I am the failed frog princess, my young
in my mouth. My ideas are weather, full of atmosphere
& incident: mud puddles slid
through. Inky blots. The prince invites
anything royal to court – maiden,
matron, or crone – and puckers up,
but my babies help me hold
my tongue. If I could talk,
I’d tell him tadpoles are apostrophes:
they indicate possession
but I am in no way confined.
I can attend every costume ball, cotillion & concert
so long as the rooms are lined
with pails - dainty teeming spittoons.
I knew frogs were slippery, braying endlessly
for company & never settling
anywhere long – but my feelings for him
are black globbules dredged up
from greying lungs
& spat at his feet. The prince ignores me
but I am the frog princess
& I am taken,
my gowns all embroidered with heads,
tails & the suggestion of legs.