The crow was back.

His beady eyes alert as ever,

head – strangely bald, feathers

pulled by some other bird perhaps –

cocked to one side, the other: ever

moving to keep her in sight.

A hop forward and he leaps

into air, wings spread, claws

having touched unaware the toad,

bulbous body – a bloated face –

whose mouth opens wide

its trademark belch.

There they were, the pair

united in their particular brand of

rotten ugliness.

She sets down her fork, appetite

quite destroyed by this vision

beyond the kitchen glass.

Crow’s shiny pate taunts her

yet; toad’s bulk enacts a grotesque

expansion of its form to mold, settle

into the mud on which they wait

and stare.

She sips her coffee: even

that seems corrupted by their presence.

Who knew beasts could be

such a persistent menace?