The thumbnail toad

There was no car
On the lanes this morning,
And with my ear straining
Said, “Well, not
so far”.

Sunday's first opaque light
Sees none about,
Nor me to cry out
‘Hark!’ lest some car might

Fill the wide empty breadth
Save for this thumbnail toad,
Stumbling across the road,
With no sense of tarred tread.

Reaching the near side verge -
To you perhaps a mile -
Can now repose awhile
Where skin-toned dry grass merge.

Whatever will you find to eat?
Something smaller even than you?
Yet, when all is through -
- It is true -
Your tiny heart will beat.

And I wonder if you can see
New life you’ll bring
Next March, in spring,
Or maybe even Feb'uary.

To a pond (for some escape)
Across fields, soon newly green,
Where I honestly do mean
To build you a spawning scrape.

So off, away so far,
To meet your ancient kin -
A fair amphibian -
And dread no treading car.

Winswell Water, 2018