Imagine if Basho were born this generation
and, as a kid, kept dead frogs in his pocket.
He might take one out and press
with his thumb its limp belly
to make the frog’s mouth open and close.
Then, to make a splash livestreaming on TikTok,
he might speak like a ventriloquist
out the side of his mouth:
A pond, still in the morning.
Dead frog tossed in.
Sound of water.

Rodger LeGrand is a Pushcart nominated poet and the author of several collections of poetry, including Studies for a Self-Portrait (Big Table 2019). His poems have appeared in many literary journals. He has taught at MIT and Penn. Currently he designs humanitarian education courses with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.