Couch's spadefoot toad
Called out by thunder,
They bleat like sheep to find each other.
In pools that might not last a week,
The female lays three thousand eggs
That hatch and hurry, phase to phase:
Tadpoles in twelve hours, new frogs in nine days.
They eat as much as possible and get round.
One meal can last a year, underground.
Spadefoot toads then disappear
For almost an entire year.
Their holes fill in with dust and pebbles,
Stones and cobwebs, holes of ghosts.
And just like ghosts, the spadefoots
Have a secret: They’re frogs!
Spadefoots are impossible –
And they live in our back yard.
Sharon Wahl is currently finishing her first two books: A Critique of Passionate Reason (a novel) and I Also Dated Zarathustra (short stories).