Anticipatory Nostalgia

I imagined myself in Arizona
post-monsoon, steam hissing off the street
raising scents of creosote and stone,
but recollecting past Virginia rains,
frogs’ din in puddles punctuating woods,
a constant trill of peepers, a high hum
of cicadas, bullfrogs that bark and caw
in enigmatic code. Though birds
and crickets warn as we approach,
the frogs in their season sing night or day,
whether we walk toward them
or away. I imagined missing them,
their bittersweet memory like chocolate
savored slowly. Now, back in misty woods,
I reminisce, searching for the scent
of asphalt, creosote, and Arizona stone.


I wrote the original of this poem in July 2018 just before moving to Arizona, presumably forever. I could hardly wait to leave Virginia so I could miss it! Now that I’ve returned, my possibilities for sentimentality have increased. Not only can I long for Arizona, but I can also miss the anticipatory nostalgia for Virginia!

Inspired by dVerse


  1. I was thinking of an old XTC song – ‘Senses working overtime’ – while reading this. This sensual poem has sound – ‘steam hissing’, taste – ‘bittersweet memory like chocolate’, touch – ‘Arizona stone’- smell – ‘…scents of creosote and stone’ and all this with that melancholy sweetness of memory. A lovely read – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Bullfrogs bark and caw” is my favorite phrase in this. The alliteration in “bullfrogs bark” and the vowel repetition in “frogs…caw” is exemplary. I also love the line “I imagined missing them, / their bittersweet memory like chocolate / savored slowly.” The paradox, the subtle rhyme, the simile! * face with heart eyes*

    Liked by 1 person

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