EULOGY FOR AN EARTHWORM
 
And so it has come to this; your
lowly, nocturnal, subterranean life
cut short six months or so by the sun.
It dried your tubular, sinewy body to the
sidewalk in front of my house where you
wriggled, and crawled to from the lawn
flooded by last night's summer deluge.
You, and many of your fellow invertebrates,
each a male, and a female, rolled into one,
some of whom had reached the exalted
length of six inches or more, suffered
similar fates. Seeking the high ground, you
became disoriented. Unable to escape the
coming heat, or burrow through the hardness,
you became played out, cooked. Death was
excruciatingly slow, but in time your hearts,
stomachs, crops and gizzards ceased to
function. Others met a quicker, more terrifying
end either plucked apart by blackbirds or
worse, carried off piecemeal by angry swarms
of ants. Of you Darwin asserted that through your
tireless tilling, and mulching, no other creature
played such an important role in world history.
Now you have been altered into a dark, hardened,
string-like goo stuck to the concrete griddle where
you writhed your last. Thus, with this broom,
I SWEEP you, and commend your annelid remains
back into the fertile sod from whence you took flight,
your leathery flesh to enrich the turf once more and
help please myself and passers-by who appreciate
lush, cool, manicured grounds. (And who further may
occasionally seek the assistance of some of your
wiggling kin to catch a trout.)

Joseph I. Middlesworth/ 'Canvas Wings' 2000

By Ishmael

© 2004 Ishmael (All rights reserved)

 

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