It's a Snail's Life

Written by: julie heckman

There is everything ugly about the little creepy snail
he delivers the slime scraping his foot. Maybe it’s his small,
pea size shrunken brain or those tiny eyes, or the way 
he slinks on his flat foot that squirms underneath  
his round tubular body with black eyes on the tips
of the long tentacles two, on his cold little head.

Two more short tentacles are upon the pointed head.
with the shorter pair for feeling around the park. The snail
has two long tentacles that hold his eyes on the tips.
At three years old they lay white eggs so white and small
which stick to them and are buried in the ground underneath.
Holes he digs to hide his body safely tucked away

from foes who know he’s tasty, so he goes on his way.
Piercing black eyes on top of his loathsome head,
s/he is a hermaphrodite with equipment  underneath.
The shell reproduces itself, alone like other snails.
His radula is rough and grainy but still, a foot very small
with a row of tiny teeth which eats leaves on the tips.

If he falls over, struggling, his whole world tips.
Unfortunately he can’t get up having no legs anyway.
So what could be worse than to live life as a snail?
There are African snails who are 15 inches toe to head,
while the body is 2lbs of protein we boil and eat snails
who are harvested by hand in the ground underneath.

He flourishes as a pest in the dirty ground underneath.
The shell slimes along without instruction or tips.
What could be worse than to live life as a snail?
Destroying crops he eats root, stems and fruit on his way,
but if a dog eats the snail there’s death to his head.
A mythical figure and a symbol of deadly sin, so small

he has small dreams, but at church he generously tips,
with holy expectations, underneath he knows the way
to his heart and his head as a martyr enduring life as a snail.