Celebrating the Monsoon!


In July

when brackish mud puddles teem with tadpoles

I slog through thick morning air

to see if future frogs have sprouted leg nibs

overnight, like sperm they squirm as if their world might not dry up

in three days' time.

To feed the horses, I wear dork-shorts and sharp-heeled cowboy boots

and pray for invisibility

Levi's in the heat will kill me faster than the humiliation looming large when

a smart-ass boy from school pedaling madly on his beater Stingray

hits the road where the dirt starts and sings out "soo-wee, slop them hogs!"

What hogs? I think he likes me.

And yes, I wear spurs to ride the tall blond filly who will never replace

my old man horse with the Mt. Everest withers and a kind face who

ferries me to the barn while I lay on his back with closed eyes.

Now that is trust.

Truth is

I've raked more manure than people might guess

unless they compare my sun-spotted hands with my far-north face

to get the back-story on why I rather shovel shit in a pasture than wade through it

in a conference room and listen to coyotes howling in the wash than to wolves

yipping behind big... desks.

In August

a few fortunate tadpoles transform to toads who

spin throaty tales of misspent youth in great lakes

and sing lustily with high hopes and the optimism of fledglings

with seemingly less to lose.

The spade foot toad may give it another go in nine or ten tears

if he hears from his bunker the first drops of rain

connecting heaven and earth from the depths

of his dreams.

Carolyn G. Healy

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