One night-crawler out on this sparkling court,
Dried-up and shriveled, overdone, not red,
Neglected to take heed, or to report
‘T was all mirage; to turn around instead.
Followers, these, in the benighted hours,
Had wriggled out to nab a bit of wet;
Who in the sun wilt faster than flowers.
This holocaust is something to regret.

If one was living: I was curious.
I paced the court off with an eagle eye.
The cocky sun was sure, was luminous.
But near the fringe hap’ly did I espy
One writhe (or throe); his pain would I allay.
I threw him in the woods and went away.


Reid McGrath is a poet living in the Hudson Valley.

Featured Image: “The Tennis Match” by Horace Henry Cauty.

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One Response

  1. E. Slew Bericuda

    Reflections on a Wet November Afternoon
    for Reid McGrath

    Scads of night-crawlers on the oval track
    were dried-up, shriveled, overdone and dead.
    The headless worms were heedless of the flak
    of solar rays, and left a mess instead.
    I saw one hundred of them at a glance;
    and as I walked I had to watch my step.
    It wasn’t pleasant, and I didn’t dance;
    that brief sojourn is something I regret.
    But there were live earthworms as well—a bunch.
    I had to watch where they were squirming, lest
    I squish them with an unintended crunch
    and get their gooey insides on my soles.
    What was the reason they were in my path?
    Worms don’t destroy themselves, do they McGrath?
    Perhaps the chemically treated grass
    had made them flee their former homes en masse.


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