Friday, November 21, 2014

snail races

kneeling on cool november soil,
weeding around the cabbages,
something in the scent of damp earth and bruised foliage,
manifests in my mind the very clear image of a snail,
and once again i am a child in my grandmother's front yard,
gathering snails beneath palm trees with my brother,
when we have enough we line them up along a crack in the sidewalk,
and wait for them to emerge from their shells,
some refuse,
others begin to grope about tentatively,
testing their new surroundings with alien eyestalks,
and then the race begins,
their course random and meandering,
some wandering into the lawn,
or down the curb,
leaving glistening trails behind them,
as they lumber along beneath cumbersome burdens,
something mesmerizing in their movement,
slow and swaying and steady,
lulling our child minds into happy hush,
until we forget about the finish line