I am Fibian

featured in Good Day: the book of paintings and poetry 

painting by Gale Whitman
poem by Bob Komives
location: Mugs on the Oval coffee house, Fort Collins, July through August, 2013

I am Fibian
Bob Komives
I am Fibian,
northern leopard frog.
This place is one of my spots.
I was once so common
along Cache La Poudre River,
up and down
across North America
you did not count me for much.
But such is history.
you do not count me for many.
I am Fibian,
cold-blooded amphibian.
Relative to many of my relatives
I am fine
(though in precipitous decline)
because still you can find me.
That is hard to say of my cousin,
Boreal Toad,
supposed to live near the mountain headwater.
He is obviously and officially endangered,
while I am just Fibian,
northern leopard frog,
another amphibian
in the official state of special concern.
I am three and one half inches long.
I take well to cold
but do not freeze.
I eat insects
and other things that would upset your stomach.
Some of you say I am spotted green
to be spotted in the meadow during summer vacation.
Some of you say I am spotted brown
to be spotted in deep water, pond, and wetland.
I crisscross your roads in spring and fall
to prove that none of you is wrong.
But something is wrong
along the river,
around the world.
I am Fibian,
frog, amphibian;
listen up!
When I croak you jump!
In wetland mud I draw a line.
Hop to it and heed my sign:
    Beyond this point
    river stays open
    to song and dance and occasional rhyme,
    but valley is closed
    to amphibian decline.

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2002 :: I am Fibian :: 0213