Three Poems by Ashleigh Lambert


Frog and Toad Can’t Catch Their Breath


When great slivers began to slough off the sun, Frog knew he’d have to break the news to Toad. Toad was in the house luxuriating in his breathing. For every breath he accomplished, something special would appear, like a great plush cake or an illuminated manuscript.  Toad called them his exercises but all he meant was his living. And a lucky living, too—a filigreed existence. Those sweet books and cakes always laying themselves out for him. The sun flinging itself free didn’t figure into any of it. Frog felt neglectful for being so observant. At the door to Toad’s study, he swept off his bowler. He positioned it over his bright, wet heart.


Toad Dreams of the Theater


Frog felt compelled to bring up their best hope.

Remember that time we were saved by the theater?

You dreamt yourself a decimating, galloping success,

then you rejected acclaim, and you woke up proud.

Your furrowed brow figured heavily in the scene.

You were crying so differently than I’d ever seen before.

More alone than alone, even with that huge audience.

It was sexy to watch you fall from your dream

to waking life, where you are so grudging and confounding.

Remember you cried when you thought I had left you.

Remember, you love me,

and I record all your dreams.


Frog and Toad Have Lost Grasp of the Moment


Frog and Toad have lost grasp of the moment. They hold vines loose like reins between palm and webbed finger. If they stick to the path they can get to the bridge. Best case scenario they reach the ravine. In all likelihood the scene switches to the Arctic or a cartoon desert. Also a savannah appears. Swamp looms. All the wood creaks and the sky is a blister. It’s this kind of thing until hopefully forever.


Ashleigh Lambert is the author of the chapbooks The Debt or the Crisis (DoubleCross Press) and Ambivalent Amphibians (Dancing Girl Press). Her poems and reviews can also be found in Bone Bouquet, Coldfront, Diagram, Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, Redivider, Rain Taxi, and The Rumpus. She lives in Minneapolis.