Tied together like a king rat,
We find a mass of worms
At the bottom of a small pool,
So we fish them out
With a soft, bent stick
And drop them on the side
Of the concrete drainage ditch
To watch which ones show volition.
Those whom will to move we scoop
And throw into a neighboring yard
That offers dirt cover to survive until
The next storm rolls through
And again washes them down this way.
The children wonder
If we saved an entire family.
I tell them I don’t know
If worms have family
Like we have families.
The children argue,
Then decide that even if
Worms don’t have families
They probably didn’t want to die
In a big tangle of other drowned worms
At the bottom of concrete hole.
I tell them that’s probably
Just about right then ask
Which is better: to die together
Or to die alone?
Neither one attempts to answer.
Instead, we walk in suburb silence,
Hopping over mossy puddles,
And dodging every branch
That buds with new, green life.