Tuesday Poem-Careless Love

I want to tell a little tale

about the love life of a snail

whose parents said to take great care

nor look for love just anywhere.

But Henry knew not what this meant

’til Cupid’s barb on him was spent

and caused his love to reach a girl

who didn’t have a snail’s shell.


And neither was it worm nor fly

that caught the love light in his eye.

Instead he gave it to a bug

who sunbathed on a garden trug.

His mother said ‘this cannot be

and you can blame it all on me.

You’re not the man you thought you were.

You’re not a him. You’re not a her.’


‘We really need to set things right.

You see you are hermaphrodite.

So leave your bug however dear

and do not shed a single tear.

For ne’er in all your livelong days

will both of you a family raise.’

Now poor old Henry’s heart was broke

his happy dreams gone up in smoke.


And to his lady love he said

‘it isn’t right for us to wed.

We cannot make a family

so as from now I set you free.’

But she said, ‘no it’s not too late.

For me you’re just the ideal mate.

I’m sick of hatching little bugs.

We’ll just make do with lots of hugs.’

(c) Helen McKinlay

SNAILcourtesey PDPhoto,org
courtesy Jon Sullivan
pdphoto.org

This is a turn of the century love poem in the style of  gastropods, being of the order stylommatophora.
Sound good?   The writer …me… was doing a lot of gardening at the time.  I have no other explanation for its existence!  It was first published in Boulder Writers Two, Nelson 2008.

If you can still see through the film of tears which has glazed your eyes after reading Henry’s tale, you might like to visit the Tuesday Poem Blog here.