Martyrs and Worms

A poem for you, recently part of the Boulder Valley UU Fellowship poetry service:



Worms don’t volunteer

to be flooded from home,

to feed the hungry robin.


No cathedral rises in honor of worms,

no beatification of night crawlers.

Saint Worm slays no dragons,

writes no treatise on the meaning

of wriggling toward the divine. No one

reports visions of Mary with a worm.


I avoid stepping on worms

stranded on the sidewalk,

not that I care enough

or I’d lift the worm to safety

in the grass, smuggle it away

from the reach of hard, quick beaks.


I’m tempted to shrug: a worm’s a worm

for all I know. But I don’t know.

Squiggles drying in the sun are

as mysterious as questions of good

and evil, plague, hunger and mayhem.

Worm or human, the wheel turns,

grinds and lets go.

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