I plucked hornworms from the garden today

They, having descended upon my tomato leaves

Hatched from tiny, green pearls

Abandoned in the night

By moths casting their riddles under the stars

I answer them with

Fingers plucking their young

From half-eaten leaves

Casting them squirming into the fire

Of an ant mound

There’s a flash of remorse

As I watch them being dragged down

Down, into the earthly depths

While here above

Thrashers and mockingbirds

Upon the tomato cage rails

In my absence

Make a meal of those which remain


©2019 Lenny Wells

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