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August Toadsong

By John I. Blair

This is the hottest summer
In thirty years, an endless oven,
Defoliated trees, crisp grass, us
Hiding in our homes till nightfall.

Far after dark I slip outside
To move a sprinkler,
Constrained by law
From watering in the day.

In this desert-arid air
And torrid temps,
Lovelorn toads
Would seem implausible.

Yet every night for weeks
Iíve heard one singing
Somewhere on my block,
A hoarse but steady croak.

Some might think
A ghost toad
Is mourning lack of rain,
The lack of pools, of mates.

But Iím sure heís real,
And just as sure we two
Agree on singing love songs
When others might despair.

©2011 John I. Blair


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