Hilda Conkling

Tree Toad

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Tree-toad is a small gray person
with a silver voice.
Tree-toad is a leaf-gray shadow
that sings.
Tree-toad is never seen
unless a star squeezes through the leaves,
or a moth looks sharply at a gray branch.
How would it be, I wonder,
to sing patiently all night,
never thinking that people are asleep?
Raindrops and mist, starriness over the trees,
the moon, the dew, the other little singers,
cricket . . . toad . . . leaf rustling . . .
they would listen:
It would be music like weather
that gets into all the corners
of out-of-doors.
Every night I see little shadows
I never saw before.
Every night I hear little voices
I never heard before.
When night comes trailing her starry cloak,
I start out for slumberland,
With tree-toads calling along the roadside.
Good-night, I say to one, Good-by, I say to another:
I hope to find you on the way
we have traveled before!
I hope to hear you singing on the Road of Dreams!

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Hilda Conkling