Bad Things to Come

by DeMisty D. Bellinger

Specimens of frogs with various deformities, usually the legs—one shorter, one terribly long, one too many (et cetera etcetera), were grouped up on the table.  The live ones in Plexiglass boxed cages, dew drop breathing holes on the top of the box.  Their croaks uselessly bounced off the walls of their cages, through the holes, to us, accompanying the professor’s lecture with songs meant for frog fucking, for frog procreation: here’s to future tadpoles with polluted genes!  Here’s to underdeveloped white legs entwined with healthy green legs.  “Hormones,” the professor was saying, “farmers give to cows and sheep,” and I took it all down.  Took it all in.  “Ribeiroia ondatrae.  Fertilizer feeds them.”  Wrote it all down.  He had dead frogs displayed, too, in older boxes said to be sealed and preserved carefully in Lucite.  Frogs labeled with scientific names.   Descriptions of the variations:

“clubbed right foot”

“one digit, front right”

“three legs”

“four legs”


Et cetera.  All there for us to count.  Accidental bubbles dimpled the cubes of plastic.  These frogs forever floating.  These frogs: unable to adapt.

DeMisty D. Bellinger teaches both poetry and fiction writing in Massachusetts at Fitchburg State University. She has an MFA in creative writing from Southampton College and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her fiction and poetry is published in many places, most recently at The Milo Review and Kalyani Magazine.

One thought on “Bad Things to Come

  1. Pingback: Welcome DeMisty Bellinger- Literary Submissions Manager

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