It's just poetry, it won't bite


08.31.11 Posted in today's words by

Janis Lull is professor emerita at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has published scholarship on Shakespeare and other English Renaissance poets. Her own poems have appeared at The Little Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Northwest, Epochand elsewhere. More recently her work has been published in Ruminate, Nibble, Perceptions Literary Magazine, and Right Hand Pointing. She also writes reviews for Rattle and Bookslut online. 

By Janis Lull

In toad-years, you were old. Your
body by the side of the road,
belly up, drowned by summer
rain, already flat as a cutout,

says so. Big as an open hand now,
but in your life a fist, you resist
change a little longer. Tomorrow,
you’ll go, Bufo, down the drain,

soaked up, along with the other juices
of the season. Four months each year
eating bugs and eight in a hole: that
was your life. Did you feel

sorry for yourself, dying? I don’t
think so. I bet you hated it here.

3 Responses to “Toad”

  1. bobbie troy says:


  2. Ray Sharp says:

    A well-written sonnet! While I don’t agree with the tongue-in-cheek sentiment (do toads have cheeks? warty ones at that? I know they have tongues), the anthropomorphic view that it must be unpleasant for a toad to live 8 months in the earth and 4 eating bugs (it probably feels ‘right’ and good), I appreciate the craft, the words, the sound and feel of this poem.

  3. I’d like to think toads don’t know the difference. :)Great write.

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