r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: Snails...and more so Slugs

Snails...and more so Slugs

They came out in the dusk.
It was not easy to walk,
even on stone,
without crudely smashing
some spiralling shell.

Anxious,
we trailed with our torches
inspecting young plants,
shone beams on snails,
considering them.

Night upon night
we tipped slugs from leaves
brought them in cartons,
antlers astir, to forage
in wilder greenery.

Laughable folly,
futile as hope:
dahlias and asters
stricken by morning
were sullied to rags.

To try beer
seemed the optional, half
moral strategy: let them
choose to get drunk,
topple and drown.

We expected, of course,
the first squeamish guilt:
heavy slugs
lay like whales
wrecked by disaster.

Then rank after days
the death trays were cleared,
heaped
odd-sized shreds
of discoloured rubber.

Now big winds
blow through the trees.
The reddened brambles
gleam with black.
Our summer has come to little.

Madeline Munro (d. 8 June 2016)

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