Drifting outside in a pall of smoke,
I follow a snail's streaked path down
the garden to the garden's stone wall.
Alone at last i squat on my heels, see
what needs to be done, and suddenly
affix myself to the damp stone.
I begin to look around me slowly
and listen, employing
my entire body as the snail
employs its body, relaxed, but alert.
Amazing! Tonight is a milestone
in my life. After tonight
how can I ever go back to that
other life? I keep my eyes
on the stars, wave to them
with my feelers. I hold on
for hours, just resting.
Still later, grief begins to settle
around my heart in tiny drops.
I remember my father is dead,
And I am going away from this
town soon. Forever.
Goodbye son, my father says.
Towards morning, I climb down
and wander back into the house.
They are still waiting,
fright slashed on their faces,
as they meet my new eyes for the first time.
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