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Five Hearts

(Part III of III)

Don’t touch that, my mother probably said,

At least twice, but I didn’t see any wisdom

In those words


Words I do find wisdom in:

Bed. Bunch. Clat. Clew.


This is what we can call a group of worms. Personally, I prefer

Bunch, like a bouquet of flowers, like the bringing of many things together into something

Cohesive, like a collection of the ripest, yellow bananas, like a group of things whose number

Can only be estimated


I like to think maybe the bunches all wiggle up to the surface when it rains to watch the clouds.

Maybe they come up to smell petrichor--another great word

Perhaps the rainstorm is an excuse for a break from whatever

Useful, diligent work earthworms do.

I imagine it’s peaceful, lying on warm concrete

And absorbing the infinity of atmosphere


The worms, though, they get caught up in the beauty

Of it all. They stay too long, breathless at the sight of limitless possibility.


I imagine they cozy up to the sidewalk as the clouds meander

Away and the ground radiates heat again. They drift

Off and dream of whatever earthworms dream of, and I imagine they aren’t aware

Of the change.


Does heaven look the same as Earth for worms? Wouldn’t it be

Peaceful, wandering through tunnels in the soil, forging

One’s own path, digging trails toward mystery?

The thrill of monotony, the adventure of safety

When it rains, wouldn’t it be lovely to crawl back up to the surface

Just to be reminded that everything is

As it should be?


Gardens flourish and trees unfurl graceful branches, leaves bob to the music

Of the simple world

And wouldn’t it be nice, the knowledge that loneliness is never permanent?

If one gets tired

Of  solitude, all one must do is dive back into the ground 

And listen for the movement of as many friends as there are earthworms.


Woken from slumber by gently pinching fingers,

I wonder if they have time

For surprise as they’re tossed back into the grass. I wonder if earthworms

Feel gratitude.


I move on before they work their way back into the ground

And find peace in knowing they will

I find peace in knowing their hearts will continue to beat and they will live

To see another storm.


People-heaven, if there is one

Would look quite different from worm-heaven.

I wish it would look the same.

If people-heaven looks anything like people-life, I hope I end up

In worm-heaven. There, when it rains, the sidewalks would not be


©Kaylee Schuler

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