Pass on a Poem

This week’s poem is by FLEUR ADCOCK (New Zealander, born 1934)

A snail is climbing up the window-sill
into your room, after a night of rain.
You call me in to see, and I explain
that it would be unkind to leave it there:
it might crawl to the floor; we must take care
that no one squashes it. You understand,
and carry it outside, with careful hand,
to eat a daffodil.

I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails:
your gentleness is moulded still by words
from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
your closest relatives, and who purveyed
the harshest kind of truth to many another.
But that is how things are: I am your mother,
and we are kind to snails.

From: Poems 1960-2000, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books 2000.
There is a poetry evening in Notting Hill on 13th June, contact [email protected] for more details and if you want to, you could read a poem, or just go along to listen.


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