Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Toad

"Do you love me?" I asked
"Love you? How could I love a toad?"

That made a lot of sense,
so I asked her, "How's about
if we just kind of sleep together?"
Naturally she had to think that one over at some length:

"And never turn on the lights?"
"All right," I said.
"And you are gone before the sun comes up?"
"All right," I said.
She lowered her voice: "But you will
love me toad-style, not like humans?"
"How else?" I said.

"Well then," she said, "we'll try it
for a week, but let's not ask for miracles."

I came to her each night for half a year,
returning with the sun to quarry
in the steaming, mud-caked bean fields.
Did she ever think about me at her
gay martini luncheons, her dinners
for two at Scandia?
To think that I, a humble toad,
had given my heart to a fashion designer!

In May I lost her to a troll,
a recent arrival from Brooklyn.

- Gerald Locklin
The Toad Poems, 1970

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