The Haunting of Poet by Snail
Has it been four days now?
Must have been. Nearly a week
since I did the deed. It was dark,
and I was hurrying – I didn’t see
his form, the path in front of me.
My careless size-ten shoe came down,
and crushed his hopes and dreams.
My stride stopped mid-step. Sickened
by that sound, the chilling crunch;
I saw him, when I lifted up.
A tragic mix of slime and shrapnel.
And now – although you’ll doubt –
I swear he’s back. I am the mollusc’s
sole unfinished business
on this fast and brutal Earth.
You’ll say it’s in my head, if I report
that I can hear his death
in every mistimed gearshift,
every mouth devouring crisps.
But it’s not my conscience doing this,
it’s him. He’s putting me through hell.
I hear, with every step I take,
the breaking of the tell-tale shell.
Last night, I thought I saw him,
bright and cold, in death.
Slowly sliding next to me,
and felt his tiny, ghostly breath.
‘It was dark!’ I scream. ‘I was hurrying!’
His silence says it all. But still,
you don’t believe me? Come on round,
see the trails across my walls...
and explain the vengeful holes
in my fridge-ridden, cellophaned lettuce.
Published in 'The Dead Snail Diaries' Valley Press, 2011
Jamie McGarry was born in Norwich, in April 1988, and grew up in North Wales and Yorkshire. He attended university in Scarborough, earning a degree in English Literature and Culture, as well as founding a publishing label, Valley Press, in 2008. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this led to the release of several books by Jamie – including a novel, The Waiting Game (2007), and three volumes of poetry, What Do I Know Anyway? (2008), Autopilot (2009) and most recently, The Dead Snail Diaries (2011). He currently lives in East Yorkshire, where he runs Valley Press full-time, pursuing these bookish interests to his heart’s content.
A slow-moving, brown-hued creature, Jamie regularly enjoys a leafy salad, and has (on occasion) been known to come out of his shell.