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Twisting the Worm

Es­capril 2019
Prompt: anx­i­ety


I took the foul liq­uid in my lips;
It seemed so limpid at the time of tast­ing.
The in­sipid water taken to my hips
And soon my flesh a vic­tim to a wast­ing.
Quick heart strokes and retch­ing stuck fast —
A worm’s head broke a pu­trid pus­tule on my waist.
To rid my body of the worm at last
I wrapped it ’round a stick and turned with wary pace.
Each leery quar­ter twist was marked by cal­en­dar, not clock;
Of the af­fair to oth­ers I was ret­i­cent.
A hair too far: the worm would break and I would die of shock;
For months re­solve and hope my only med­i­cines.
At last I plucked it out and I could, smil­ing, see:
The par­a­site was not so scary once I pulled it free.