Twisting the Worm
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.