By Molly Knox
Eye level with an armada of snaking shells. Gastropod crowd
Comes to mesmerize, prized between uneven weedy slabs and unhurried shrubbery.
Tilt. Gaze curious feelers towards the warm glow brushing the first bloom of Spring.
Swirling delicate armour-clad congregation competed naked slugs groove
Gladly as they preview the sprouting streamline shoots that twist. Up from flaking mellow mud. Nodding.
Knowing with their eyes, rotating like tiny marbles that (probably) smell me lying here.
Warning. Waving herbs to chase them- to surrender.
The first throbbing buds tire them out, until their innocent worlds cave in. I have read,
Apparently, they carry cannibal tendencies between their sage vegetation and fungi.
Leafy holes add character to the nooks of a garden. Between begging
The man next door to throw away that salty blow. My flawed unassuming rabble
Rallied by the raw weeping delight of golden edged blossom.
So aware – they pause in unison. Eyelids gasping at the marvel
Botanical birth. Can they breathe the sharpness of daffodil floods?
Perhaps persistence stems from that intoxicating aroma.
Have they decided? I believe there is no
Humane way to melt. So, I clench my face tighter
As the salt-water rain pours beside open burgeon.
I could not bear to watch.
Illustration by Verity Laycock