A snail is climbing up the windowsill
Into your room, after a night of rain
You call me in to see, and I explain
That it would be unkind to leave it there:
It might crawl to the floor; we must take care
That no-one squashes it. You understand
And carry it outside with careful hand
To eat a daffodil.
I see then that a kind of faith prevails,
Your gentleness is moulded still by words
From me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
From me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
Your closest relatives, and who purveyed
The harshest kind of truth to many another.
But that is how things are: I am your Mother,
And we are kind to snails.