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Toad Dreams

by
 That afternoon the dream of the toads 
rang through the elms by Little River
and affected the thoughts of men, 
though they were not conscious that 
they heard it.
--Henry Thoreau The dream of toads: we rarely credit what we consider lesser life with emotions big as ours, but we are easily distracted, abstracted.
People sit nibbling before television's flicker watching ghosts chase balls and each other while the skunk is out risking grisly death to cross the highway to mate; while the fox scales the wire fence where it knows the shotgun lurks to taste the sweet blood of a hen.
Birds are greedy little bombs bursting to give voice to appetite.
I had a cat who died of love.
Dogs trail their masters across con- tinents.
We are far too busy to be starkly simple in passion.
We will never dream the intense wet spring lust of the toads.

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