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No earthly worm this

Thought them one of the fungus puff-balls,
Turned up within wooden compost walls,
I appraised them far too casually.
It took me another year to see.

But next summer they were there again.
I saw them now as far less mundane.
Whitish ping-pong eggs flaccid and hatch'd:
With babies now absent and dispersed.

Gently I turned the compost over -
Simple tool now a deadly rapier.
Then I saw a worm in mortal haste
Slide o'er cabbage leaves and kitchen waste.

No earthly tunnelling worm was this,
No common Lumbricus terrestris.
A creamy flash down its blazing side
Made me lay my garden fork aside.

Privilege and gratification
Bestowed upon my lowly garden.
A tiny bejewelled miniature asp
Took me by surprise and made me gasp.

© R M Meyer

Winswell Water, September 2018