Today's poem is by Judy Rowe Michaels


While most of us are grieving

something—cold spring     lost child     dead-end
lyrics that won't resolve,

the spadefoot toad, who bears
a gold lyre-mark on her back,
is crazy-busy with what science calls

explosive breeding. Rain says Go,
and up from culvert     cistern     over porch and patio     across roads
the fraught migration of spadefeet slowly breaches
our borders to breed in our ponds.

Flood of toadlets in just three weeks, pop pop,
with tiny golden harps, how will this
end? We run them down
coming or going, then pronounce them
rare, so we

love them, make posters, poems—
      (Old moss-grown pond—a
      toad jumps in to breed     pop pop

We can't say they're unnatural, or blame
the job rate     bad schools     gang wars     (unprotected
sex?), but tiny golden harps

seem suspect     artsy     irresponsible     un-American.
All night trill thrills,

while most of us are grieving.

Copyright © 2015 Judy Rowe Michaels All rights reserved
from New Ohio Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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