Ode to Toad Beneath the Trough

There you are again, Bufo, you survivor you.

Throughout this long, hot time,

as the merciless sun has baked the grass

and hardened both the ground beneath my feet

and the words out of my mouth,

you have molded yourself and shaped your small world and it has been enough–the trickles from the tank, quite enough.

I worry for your life each time I draw back the stock tank and tip it and scrub it and slide it back.

You are there, still, throbbing, blinking,  holding your ground.

       Once or twice, stirred by my shadow, you have chosen a better crease or hollow for your regard of my busy, noisy ways.

Mostly you just lie still. Conserving, calculating, stoically waiting for the damp darkness once more to embrace you.

How often have I groused at this hellish aberration of a spring and summer we are living through,

            only to pull back the tank and see you there in that tiny, slithery, dank, sub-rosa world of yours.

No no poison of entitlement has clouded your vision of your world–paratoid, as it is, behind your eyes, not in front.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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1 Response to Ode to Toad Beneath the Trough

  1. Janet Koehler says:

    Great lessons from God’s “lowliest creatures!!

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