Five Points, Vol. 10 No. 3Fall 2006
From Richard Howard, “I’ll have to go back a ways in order to respond. In teaching the works of Marianne Moore, of George Santayana, and of Henry James, I run into this question. These three people, apparently, had very little erotic connection with any other human being, as far as we know.”
Toad on Golf Tee
First, I sought a toad in the rubble-filled ring
of a gone silo’s cement
foundation. They like to hide
and hop there. Once acquired,
I took him to a spot
just to the peachless peach tree’s left, a slightly down sloping
patch of lawn. I teed him up, sideways.
I wanted to launch him by the ribs
toward my target: a steep barn roof
fifty yards away, over a driveway,
a rock garden, over more asphalt
and a short swatch of bad grass.
For this I’d use a nine iron: I needed lift
and if the toad landed where I wanted him to land
(just short of the roof’s peak)
then he will roll back down: reusable, re-teeable, toad.
My short game was good.
The weather vane’s rooster said the wind was right.
The sound—for I kept my backswing slow
and my eye on the toad—fired
to my face: thwuuuump!
It was a perfect pitch shot: he dropped inches from the top,
rolled a few turns earthward
and stopped. It took a week
for his disarticulated bones
to slide down the sharp slope
and land in the little valley of stones
the rain excavates
when it falls, too, from the eaves.