My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one
since she was young.
We saw it breathe

and swell up round.
My youth is no sure sign
I’ll find this kind of thing
tho it does sing.
Let’s take it in

I said so grandmother can see
but she could not
it changed to brown
and town
changed us, too.

  • Lorine Niedecker, “[My mother saw the green tree toad]” from Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy, Copyright © 2002 Regents of the University of California. Published by University of California Press.

  • Source: Collected Works (University of California Press, 2004)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"Participating in Poetry Out Loud has taught me a lot of things, but I think the one thing I didn't expect to learn is how alive a poem can become when read out loud. I also learned that even words written as much as a hundred years ago can resonate with me and be relevant to my life."
Gypsy Prince
2015 OR POL Champion