The frog maker
There’s gift-stalls galore outside the wild and hilly
Monteverde Forest. I buy a saffron
amphibian, sculpted in glass, from the guy that crafts them.
“What species is it?” I ask. His smile goes chilly.
“Is Golden Toad. He no more around.”
He knew them as a boy and recounts the thrilling
jackpot glitter of frogs in the fern-leaf frilly
puddles of April that made their spawning grounds.
Extinction struck. Climate’s the culprit, it’s reckoned.
A shriek from a startled bird reverberates shrilly
around the reserve. It stops. Oblivion beckons
a world that’s lost a coin so unmistakeable.
The bubble-wrap wad he packs round the knick-knack seems silly,
a conceit in these times when entire species’ are breakable.