Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Toad Hall

by Donald Brandis

Among the most telling clues to who we are
is what we live in, Toad says in his best Churchillian rumble
his jowls shaking like my sister Kate’s shimmy
we’re deep in the willows where the moss-bound stones
of Toad Hall can almost be seen or imagined
he puts down his cigar and reaches for his glass
the river is a constant companion
although we’ve just arrived with the trailer
and are still fussing with its hookup
she’s already telling an irresistible story
either we’ve missed the beginning or it has none
inside the walls are cream-colored with light
shifting at the edges of notice
standing only where and when we see them
the trailer lurches when we move
seemingly as light as a thought and tiny
we’d have to go outside to change our minds
but when we do we’re still inside
The moment, the moment, Toad bellows
coughing and thrashing in his deep armchair
but we’ve stopped hearing him
for the river’s endless but wholly episodic story
of Arabian nights, of Homeric millennia-shifting
a string of sparkling beads found on a beach

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