Saturday, 23 June 2012


The pregnant toad in the sedge by the lake
swings her weak, white belly,
and, an asthma sufferer that she is, she just cannot extend
the springs of her earthbound legs.

Tongue-tied complaints are in her breathing,
her breast skin is tender and bare,
crusts of pus are gathered in the folds round her eyes,
those goggle eyes, like a pond rippled and flaccid.

Indifferent to the floating whine
of the evening mosquitoes, clinging to a stump
she was puffed up as carrion

and only the lingering attack of asthma,
racking the sticky shelter of her body
kept her tied to life on earth...

(1964 or 1965)

Translated by Richard McKane.

Picture: "Morning Glory, Toad, and Insects" by Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1660)

My new Leonid Aronzon page.

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