Pseudacris crucifer – a poem by Sheila Wellehan

Pseudacris crucifer (Peepers)

Near Easter, when ponds promise to unfreeze,
you begin to hear their plaintive pleas.
Come be with me, chorus frogs sing each evening.
Please breed with me,
I’m the Peeper King.

Their cheeps grow in strength like a stampede
until you can’t escape their melody.
From dusk until they fall asleep,
they dream they’re the first amphibians
crawling out of the sea.

Every brown back is marked with a small dark X
that reminds devout Christians of their beliefs.
The frogs’ name crucifer means bear a cross,
but peepers do not share that creed.
Their gospel is

Sing loudly.
Scream freely.
Lead the chorus from your pool or creek.
Sing for what you need.
Sing for what you seek.

Sing because you’re alive
and it’s spring.

Sheila Wellehan‘s poetry has recently been featured in The American Journal of Poetry, Menacing Hedge, San Pedro River Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit her online at www.sheilawellehan.com .

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