KISSING A TOAD Wendy Webb
In that hour before dawn
when birds rise, chill with certainty and song;
happy people sleep on
dreaming scenes, so warm, of yesterday.
Stepping out to back yard;
creeping down garden path
silently, obscene blot on townscape.
In that hour gardeners shuffle to the potting shed,
brew a cuppa, think of pricking out;
sitting, wrapped in blanket,
damning expired lamp, striking a match for candle-glow:
I settle, brimming airs with early birds.
Slowly turning pages to your words,
poring over flickering poems,
insight’s assured in waxen glow,
as birdsong brews, crescendos to first light.
Padding soft along the fence, a cat
pauses aloft, in finest view,
wish-fulfilling his plan this stalking-day:
the bird table.
A tired owl tu-whits a final call,
as morning rises cool in certain damp.
Stamping final pages of his verse
I close the book, too satisfied to muse.
Returning to a house now warm, alive,
I size a frog – or toad – so huge and still
and contemplate the absence of fat words;
or hopping rhyme; sun’s rising consonance,
or image brash as day.
It’s breakfast-time for routine’s chores,
when nothing more will mew or softly prowl.
Full day bursts on my mind and now
no muse stops at my pen or plays
as every dawn and every night
and every fattened day crescendos in:
my toad – one day my prince –
will stride indoors.