The Library of Congress

 
   
Poem Number 176

How to Change a Frog Into a Prince

Anna Denise

Start with the underwear. Sit him down.
Hopping on one leg may stir unpleasant memories.
If he gets his tights on, even backwards, praise him.
Fingers, formerly webbed, struggle over buttons.
Arms and legs, lengthened out of proportion, wait,
as you do, for the rest of him to catch up.
This body, so recently reformed, reclaimed,
still carries the marks of its time as a frog. Be gentle.
Avoid the words awkward and gawky.
Do not use tadpole as a term of endearment.
His body, like his clothing, may seem one size too big.
Relax. There's time enough for crowns. He'll grow into it.

 

from The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm's Fairy Tales, 2003
Story Line Press, Ashland, OR

Copyright 2002 by Anna Denise.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission