A Note from the Spadefoot Toads

By Brendan Galvin

When it seems less like a song
than a drunk hooting gibberish
in a culvert somewhere, stubborn
and unwilling to come clean,
forget the winged horse and remember
us waiting for that first warm April
night rain to blow in waves
from the west and pool
out here in the Province Lands.

Waters shallow and ephemeral
will appear in this vest-pocket Sahara,
and soon where we’ve hibernated
half the year under sand we burrowed
with the spurs on our hind feet,
the night will be totally gaga with us,
hundreds calling for our consorts
on new shores among the dunes.

You’ll hear us a half mile away,
drab as brown pebbles but crying
like nothing so much as newly
fledged crows who haven’t yet
learned their karoks and yawks.
These hourglass stripes on our backs
will seem like promises then:
wait and take heart.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/08/a-note-from-the-spadefoot-toads/307522/