at Toad Suck
I contemplate syllables
and old ponds
like a child puddle-jumping
loudly through soft falling rain
Ribbons, Spring 2011, #1
It’s raining here tonight (again!), just as it was the evening I drove myself through Toad Suck (and, yes!, it’s a real name) earlier this spring. The rain that day was steady, and in an effort to keep my driving just as steady, I tried to occupy my mind with other thoughts. Not surprisingly for those who know my fondness for Bashō and his old pond, I began to recite that poem (you know the one) out loud in a syncopated way–not once, not twice, but, you know, obsessively–to the sound of the rain as I drove on out of town (Toad Suck) and back to my own old pond.
Okay, perhaps I’ve revealed too much about my own quirky ways of entertaining myself when I’m by myself. But, what the heck? Who doesn’t want to play in the rain every once in a while? And who says there’s an age limit on puddle-jumping?
Anyway, this tanka was the result of that day. And I’m enormously grateful to Dave Bacharach, editor of Ribbons, for puddle-jumping along with me . . .