Oat gold grass, swathes of rush in purple-brown,
the Oare marshes stretch to the horizon.
Mercurial tides leave a slice of silver water
isolating us from the Isle of Sheppey.
Clouds are quickening and the late summer wind
seeds my eyes – a second wave.
Half-blind with redness, I almost miss
the brackish pond with the largest of frogs
– dinner plates are not an exaggeration –
and as for the ring-necked grass snakes
waiting in the surface weeds, I watch their vigil
through hayfever tears.
A snake lunges. And again. And? The frog
breathes on through skin or mouth or lungs.