No Odes for Toads

No one has written you an ode,
a love note, an unsigned valentine,
so perhaps it’s time, to pen you
a line of verse, the OED’s finest,
my bufo bufo,
to let you know
that when you waddle, clammy
as a coddled egg, my skin
wobbles to gooseflesh; so you see
we’re not so different, you and me
when I sprout the same pimples
you flaunt on your haunches,
your staunch, stippled paunch
-and may I just say,
that puffing lung tent of ventral
leather sets me a-quiver;
each croaking billow of
doughy breath blown
tickles the cockles
of my ventricles.
I expect no-one’s told you
that the dead-leaf green
of your crusty coat,
the whorls and knurls of your knees
or the albugineous bulge
of your eyes,
are simply divine;
they’ve only kissed your sticky-out
snout to see if you’ll turn
into a prince,
but since we’re being upfront
I would kiss the blunt, dank
jut of your lips,
without hope for a hunk
in bloomers or gilded
I’d just be glad
to be clasped under your
nuptial pads,
on a slime-strewn
marital bed,
because I love you
– warts and all.

Rebecca Ross


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