Stopping for Lunch

Screen-sick,
I peel away from my desk
to check on life outside.
Yes, it’s carried on.
The sunlight juices through
the kitchen windows
and the dewdamp has
paled in the heat.
The snails are holding court
on my seedlings.
I pick them off one by one
and let them shrink into pebbles:
all five rocked shut.

I take them to the shed-end
of the garden.
When it’s safe to creep out
they will wonder
how they got there,
what new world they
have been teleported to:
the splinterwood,
the gravel,
the stretch of grass like
a harsh forest.
They begin the long quest home.

I am already rinsing my plate,
tread the stairs back
to my computer.

by Phoebe Nicholson

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