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for the Alaskan Wood Frog by Victoria Gatehouse


because you showed me how cold

can be welcomed into the body like a lover


because your bed is a deep-winter rustle

of leaf litter because you whispered


slow like the language of the frozen

because you’ve thinned yourself


to glass heart quivering on pause

because your brain is a Slush Puppie


your legs brittle enough to snap

because you will not snap


because your veins are steeped

in antifreeze because you suspend


hope as ice-crystals between the walls

of blood cells because you never stop


believing in beetles & birdsong the fat

glisten of peat-bog slugs because one day


you’ll piss out rivers of glucose &

the forest will spring open as you belt out


the old songs in a pond that throbs

with stars because it’s the only way to live


_________________

Victoria Gatehouse is a Zoologist and researcher based in West Yorkshire. Her poems have

been widely published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio. Her

second pamphlet, The Mechanics of Love, published by smith|doorstop, was selected as a

‘Laureate’s Choice’ by Carol Ann Duffy.

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