Tiny Juggernaut
by Richard Linker

How has the snail
scaled the sheer wall
to this garden? Or
climbed the dank drain
to find what few
damp spots survive
this sunny yet winter-cold
day? Ask me this,
child, and why the human heart.
To feed
he moves by dark and day
encysts himself against
the sun, seeming piece
of night abandoned
in the shadow of pots.
The shoot has a grace
that seems swift
in its thrust for the sun’s
lubricious heat;
inexorable his slow movement here,
inexorable his rest.
Winter’s mist of bloom
has gone off the jades now,
and the stars have budged
another inch onward.
Snail unseals, unfastens, and
glides out on this
raft of watery light.