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The Tadpole Pool

ISSUE:  Winter 1984
It was a tiny pool in the swampwoods
that filled in springtime
near the thickened, hanging vines
where, on summer days,
we’d fly like Tarzan!
In the center was a stump,
a charcoal fort,
toward which we aimed, unsteadily,
a walk of rotten boards.
Each had a jar.
Each was master of the plank
as each was master of the hanging vines.
This was far from home
though you could hear if someone called.
Here the spermy toads
wriggled in the muck;
here the light fell quietly.
I had cheated
to win the book on Arthur and his knights
and had the sadness that came
when I read the tale of Galahad the Pure
who reached the Grail.
But I filled my jar with the others,
and said nothing.
I stood atop the stump
and watched the standing pools
gleam everywhere like gold.
It was a fertile place. We knew it.


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