Garden Snails

 by Rosalie Frost

As I leave my house late
in a headless rush, I yet would
stop to kneel down and gaze at
snails crossing my path —-
their beautiful houses carried
on their backs — banded
spiral knobs, no two alike —
parti-colored periods or, if
their soft heads and necks extend,
exclamation points.

Once, while gazing out my window
after heavy rains, smiling as
my concrete driveway hosted
a slowly moving parade of garden
snails exuding soothing slime to
smooth their rough traverse —-
I saw a tiny hunchbacked
crone all in black, seemingly out of some fairy tale
—- or maybe just the old country —-
stop on the sidewalk opposite my window,
smile as I did at the migrating groundlings separating us,
hunch her back down further,
scoop all of them up into plastic bags
spelling out words in cursive red saying
thank you and have a nice day

My creative writing is not tied to anything in any of the professional lives that I have lived. Writing comes out of my life-long devotion to reading beginning at about 7 years of age. That was when my parents took me for the first time to enroll in the local library, where they had to sign a form promising the librarian that they would be responsible for the privilege accorded me of taking care of books, including borrowing and returning them on time. Sometimes, I would stay in the library to peruse those curious adult books without any pictures, just pages of big words I could sound out but never really comprehend. My imaginative life grew and just seamlessly morphed into writing —-