Today I finally got around to what I wanted to say, though I couldn't have said it without everything that had happened between then and now. I was ready, at last. Click below to see how the final version shook out:
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TOADS
They drowned, you deadpan
after the spring deluge
that likely did them in.
We enter the apartment, flick
the waiting lights, and eat
our certainty. It is so easy
to disbelieve the death
we cannot see, the distress
of a caged animal on a commercial
blinked forward at double speed.
She’s here, you monotone
while pointing at the cat.
She ricocheted against the windows
of the car, litter gravel fireworking
in the air for hours when I retrieved her.
This you did not see, and thus
do not believe. She sure is, I reply.
I stroke her sleeping tail: the animals
are so like us. They cry, they play Houdini
an hour or two, then settle down.
Like us, they get used to their grief.