KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 149 words
+ Audio Reading

Hail, Amphibia!

by Roy Beckemeyer
...the hail, pea-sized
froghops on the lawn
—Kevin Rabas

Hail accretes itself in wild
roller-coaster rides we can only
experience in our dreams, thrust
upward by express-elevator drafts,
tossed out on its own recognizance,
it soon violates its parole, falls in loop-
de-loop cycles, melts and freezes,
undergoes plastic surgery ignominies,
becomes lumpen, gargoyle-headed,
toad-warted, sort of round, layered
like an onion, but hard and brittle,
some layers translucent, others opaque,
one nearly transparent, it streaks
downward, heavy enough at last,
heft enough around its girth, to fall
like Newton’s apple, to wedge itself
into sodden earth, crack and splinter
against concrete, bruise or shatter leaves,
conk branches, commit murder
on small birds, fracture cold-brittled
shingles, bounce off boards, jump,
like Calaveras County’s favorite frog,
into the stream of lesser hailstones,
going the wrong way again, defying
for one last time the inevitability
of gravity’s one-way street.

Publisher’s Note: Epigraph is from the poem “Hail” in Everyone Just Wants to Drum (Spartan Press, 2019) by Kevin Rabas.


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