Archive for July, 2009
NOTE: While this poem was written long before the lights came on for me about animal rights, I only just recently realized that it’s a bit of an animal defense piece. So—faced with an ongoing bout of writer’s block—I’m going to depart again from the theoretical “Science | Technology” theme for this column and run a poem.
Every night down the side of Hamilton Avenue
when it rains
the snails try to cross
I don’t know why
cause there’s nothing to eat out there
and it can’t be too comfortable
but maybe that’s why
The carnage is terrible
pedestrians clop along to the popping sound of crushing shells
like mouthfuls of ice being chewed
So I go down there and snail move
One by one I pick them up
each time slowly so that the snail has time to let go of the ground
and not get a sore belly
each one gets a scolding
get out of the street! what are you thinking?
it’ll take you a damned year to get back to the grass from here!
how did you manage to get to be full-grown behaving like this?
They are beautiful and keep coming back
to huddle around the puddle of their squashed friends
And I move them again
Nobody knows, and I don’t get paid
don’t sit around thinking about snails
I move them as my little way of saying no
Shelley Harrison teaches law, logic, writing and reading comprehension in Los Angeles, CA. Harrison is the author of Plutonomics: A Unified Theory of Wealth and a former Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Review.