The Worm – Bob Woodroofe

Easter, low tides, to get further down

the beach, study the life of the littoral zone.

To dig sea potatoes, heart urchins, catch

edible, spider and velvet swimming crabs.


The hotel on the headland, woken

the first morning by the bleat of sheep

sheltered behind the low wall

from the blizzard of snow.


Crabs and mussels cooked in cider

over a driftwood fire, washed down

with more cider, couples drift away

into darkness under towering cliff.


Found those same fragile hearts

as far apart as Ynyslas and Luskentyre

wrapped and carried them reverentially

home and added to the collection.


Later, a summer sunbathing, swimming,

trudging up and down the beach path.

Rock pooling, building sand castles

the incoming tide always washes away.


Now, step on stones across a river,

drown in wild garlic deep in the woods.

Watch the tragic comedy of a duck

that tried, but failed, to eat a frog.


Hang gliders cruise edge of cliff in front

of setting sun, disappear behind the wall

that the sheep sheltered behind, we dine,

in a restaurant, that was once a laboratory.