Worm

Out one morning
After a storm
To fetch the news,
I found a worm

Crossing the sidewalk
Wet with rain,
Hoping to come
To earth again.

The Daily Snooze,
Our local rag,
Was lying there
In a plastic bag.

I plucked the paper
From his way,
But really it was
Hard to say

If this fellow
On his run
Was going to beat
The morning sun.

Old Sol was rising
In the east,
Oblivious to man
Or beast.

I watched my
Little angleworm
Inch and wriggle,
Twist and squirm,

Safe enough
On wet cement,
As water was
His element,

But, as he wasn't
Near half way,
I guessed he wouldn't
Beat the day.

He couldn't see...
Poor thing... as I,
The walk already
Start to dry.

In fact, I would've
Offered cash
He'd lose his
Ill-considered dash.

I pulled a deck chair
To the lawn
To watch this drama
Of the dawn.

I opened up
The Daily Snooze,
But it was just the
Same old news.

And as he wriggled
In the water,
I read of war, death,
Mayhem, slaughter,

Expensive ads for
Useless fluff,
Corruption, sex,
The normal stuff.

I wondered why
My little hero
Had left the safety
Of his burrow,

To cross a wasteland
Four feet wide.
What was there
On the other side?

The soil there
Would be the same.
It seemed a risk
Not worth the game,

A folly all God's
Creatures share,
An urge to get
From here to there,

Just to find,
When they arrived,
The only good is -
They survived,

As they would have done
At home,
Without the risk of
Death or doom.

The sun got brighter,
Hotter, higher.
The fate of angleworms
Got drier.

What gods there were
In wormy heaven
Were going to pop him
In the oven.

I thought I'd pluck him up
And save him.
He'd thank me for
The life I gave him.

But as I rose
To do the thing,
My telephone
Began to ring.

The call was urgent,
Business pressing,
That sent me scurrying,
Packing, dressing,

And when I hurried
To the car,
I saw my little
Buddy there.

The sun had won,
And he was dead,
A tiny brittle,
Sun-baked shred.

I wondered
As I shifted gear
And hurried to get
There from here,

When the fates
Had run my string,
If my Savior's
Phone would ring.