You slimed onto this sidewalk,
Following an instinct,
Oozing toward a scent.
Or, you ended up here by mistake,
Congratulations! You make mistakes that are yours and yours alone.
When I first glimpsed your slithering mass,
Then immediately softened, basking in all your glory.
I took a picture,
Wanting to remember how beautiful you were in your no-shell vulnerability.
Birds circled overheard. You gave them no heed.
More treacherous are the wandering walkers, the BMX swervers, the garden poison peddlers.
A bell rings, a crossing guard appears.
Here come the hoardes of 4th graders.
Will they be mindful? I don’t know. That is for them to decide.
I find a piece of bark and a stick.
I’m ready to transport you to the closest agapanthus,
But then I stop.
I can’t save you,
Can’t cover you in armor that isn’t mine to give.
That doesn’t mean I don’t care –
I swoon over your opulent stickiness.
I trust you to be yourself.
You got yourself here,
And you can get yourself out.
And if an errant tiretread should find you,
In my estimation,
It will be the world’s loss.
But your demise will be sweetly your own,
As will mine.