I Hear You

by Eliana Franklin

A bullfrog
croaks outside my window,
in his deep, warbly voice.
He lives in the pond
beside the water lilies,
beyond the cattails
and the tall green grasses.

He starts speaking
around six every night
and doesn’t stop until morning.
The sound carries
up four floors into
my apartment, echoing
in the hall,
echoing off the walls.
In the bedroom,
in the bathroom,
in the kitchen—he is

A voice that never stops,
a cry that never ceases,
he is every person
waiting to be heard,
every child waiting to be fed,
every student waiting to be taught,
every life, wishing for more.
He is the one who sings
his heart into the world, waiting,
waiting, waiting.
I want him to know I hear him.
I want him to know
I listen.
And now,
I sing too.

Eliana Franklin is a senior creative writing major and environmental studies minor at UNC Asheville. She is an intern for The Great Smokies Review this year who has previously been published in the online journals Lucky Jefferson and Applause, as well as UNC Asheville’s literary magazine, Headwaters. She often finds inspiration in the environment outside her window.