Toad

Toad

I was walking by. He was sitting there.
z toad
It was full morning, so the heat was heavy on his sand-colored head and his webbed feet. I squatted beside him, at the edge of the path. He didn’t move.
I began to talk. I talked about summer, and about time. The pleasures of eating, the terrors of the night. About this cup we call a life. About happiness. And how good it feels, the heat of the sun between the shoulder blades.
He looked neither up nor down, which didn’t necessarily mean he was either afraid or asleep. I felt his energy, stored under his tongue perhaps, and behind his bulging eyes.
I talked about how the world seems to me, five feet tall, the blue sky all around my head. I said, I wondered how it seemed to him, down there, intimate with the dust.
He might have been Buddha— did not move, blink, or frown, not a tear fell from those gold-rimmed eyes as the refined anguish of language passed over him.
— Mary Oliver, “Toad”
 
http://maryoliver.beacon.org/gallery/?album=MaryOliverWebsite

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