The rain took a break, so
We went out to explore
Events beyond our defence.
On the other side of the garden
Where the unflattering wasteland lies,
The diggers had left their mark on the ground:
Cavities dug deeper than trenches;
Their lining revealing a tranche of dereliction and decay.
Bricks and mortar, bricks and stone;
Bricks and broken pottery,
Bricks and broken bone.
It looked a bombsite
As it had done since the War.
And the nettles it once nurtured
Had been ripped out and skipped:
Weeds weeded out for development’s sake,
Not a glimpse of doting green.
Standing on the garden wall now
Looking into the depths of the hole
A tiny patch of earth seems to be swimming –
Quivering, at least – like the velcro fuzz
Coating the surface of an old TV screen.
I sharpened my gaze.
The faint sign of futile life became starker,
More defined. The clamour of webbed feet
Sinking beneath the soil; the scramble to move
Encumbering still further the frantic creature.
The incumbent toad,
Marooned in a manmade hole.