It would take at least

a hundred of you

to make a small

pair of trousers.

I would rather

think of you


mossy nests

for your plushy young,

paralysing worms

with your toxic


and storing them

by the thousand

in deep larders.

I hear that you

squeeze the worms

between your

navvy paws

to rid them

of soil.

In the fens

your names

are mouldywarp

and dirt tosser.

A group of you

is a labour.

Your large pink paws,

which remind me

of wicket keeper gloves

were hung around

the neck of a victim

of toothache or



I hear that a worm will leap

into the air to escape your grip.

I’d love to see that.


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