Gathering Worms

Shaun Ingalls

Grandpa held the red plastic flashlight
with his left hand
and shined it over the black earth,
his little worm box in his right hand
the green metal edges
barely visible in the dark.
Kneeling down I could see
slimy brown bodies sticking out an inch or two.
Quickly I snatched the slimy beast
and felt the muscle pull back into the black loam.
With the silver trowel,
I scooped a column of earth
under the worm
to prevent its escape.
The writhing and wrenching
never stops
until it burrows into the bottom
of the worm box
only to be seen again
when pulled out
to conceal a silver hook
at the end of my line.


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