Caught in the middle

21 Jul






Caught in the middle

by L. Stewart Marsden


She felt the monstrous manimal
bear down upon her spot —
encircled by the trembling ground
realizing she was caught
she quickly popped inside her shell
retracting head and feet,
and as the beast roared overhead,
withheld final relief until the last
when she was barely nicked,
sent spinning to her back
and finally stopped,
upside down,
in the middle of the track,
and manimals — all size and shape —
zoomed close on either side
and roared their roars
and spat their fumes
while she had no place where she could hide;
but taking toll she did decide
to wait it out until the dark
when manimals would be far less
and she could then resume progress
across the blackened trail.

She had heard her father’s father rail
about the monstrous beasts,
of the long and longer passed down tales
over his and his father’s life;
how the manimals became such dangerous foe
which their fartherest fathers did never know;
who were free from concern and could easily go
anywhere with no fear of attack or surprise,
and could live their long lives in relative peace
and think of only the basics of life
with no worry or mulling or thoughts of strife.

She ignored the passed-down stories
and set her nose and feet west
where she heard from the birds
that the succulents grow best;
and she now had a mother’s urge
surpassing all her reason,
to journey to a place where
she could find a sweet creek
shadowed by a tall willow
and soft, sunned sand
that had grown through the years
from the rock and the pebbles
and provided the perfect new home
for her not-yet-born urchlings
who’d feed upon moss
and juicy large leaflets
and grubs and cocoons
and soft pulpy roots
from sunup to noon —
then lay on a rock with the hot sun above,
lingering lazily with no care or no —


A manimal stirred her awake from her reveried thoughts
and she protruded her head, and angled aright,
and realized the day had sunk low into night and that
now was the time — the moment had come
to get out of the middle
and move on to the home she had dreamed of before —
and nothing could stop her, not manimals nor
the fear of the future
for nothing could hurt her — only herself
if she stayed in the middle
stuck there, afraid,
so she valiantly, courageously, determinedly made
the very first step in the dark of that night
to carry her from an existence of fright
to that place by the creek
where she and her urchlings could thrive —
and more than exist —
and more than survive.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 21 July, 2014



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