Ways to kill cane toads

Some mornings come so thick with sleep

we cannot find the stubble on our faces.

That first step into a working day

is a bunching of nerves and breath,

a little like how I felt

on driving the woodheap axe

into my first cane toad.


His kind have inspired an unspoken pact

so that even the mildest mannered of us

will swerve blindly across wet highways

or fish our fathers' golf clubs

from the backs of cupboards.


Frogs, we deem, are lovable –

the smaller and greener,

the more deserving of embrace.

These are not the loaded treats

that knock out frothing dogs

or tip birds from the air.


But there is more to this than an axe's swing

and the fresh wet gape of amphibia.

Each day we fluster about toast

or fuel or the likelihood of dying.

There are teeth marks in the butter

rust spots on our fathers' clubs

bullet holes in the Church of the Nativity.


And what of the somnolent toad?

It makes no move, neither to defend itself

nor to escape. Yet month by month

it is still the one doing the invading.

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