[from Asheville Poetry Review, issue 18 volume 15 no. 1, 2008]
I found beneath the tangled stems and furls
Of peppermint, a string of seven pearls,
Perfect and translucent, white as milk,
Connected by a strand like spider silk,
Eggs of a kind -- resilient to the touch --
And wondered what had left this gleaming clutch
Here on the brink of warmth, with August done.
I thought of lizards dazzled in the sun
Or brilliantly enameled snakes, and since
The autumn was already dropping hints,
I took them in, and kept them moist and warm,
And peered inside to see the future form
Cloudy in those crystal balls. The catch
Was when I watched the brood begin to hatch --
Two probing horns, then with a sort of shrug
Out silvered the liquescence of a slug,
Devourer I had fought all summer long --
And everything I'd cherished had been wrong.
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