While walking out at night,
I hear a hop.
Expecting someone bunny-shaped,
I train my light upon the bump.
No fur I find there,
nor twitching ears.
Instead, a toad squats on the stone.
Leg after leg he roams the road.
He freezes underneath my light
revealing muddy-tinted stripe,
and warty lumps.
Substantial sumo legs has he,
amphibian lord with purposeful stride.
We walk together now until he wearies of my scrutiny,
then clambers down to rocky stronghold.
I wrote this one at a writer’s retreat at Diablo Lake, high in the Cascade Range of Washington State. This was with my Mom.