Snail Fever

This trail

It winds so slowly

Slime on the mulberry leaves

Brings you closer to fruit

Boiling for jelly

In canned preserves

Led by the sluggish

Shell-hugger

Temperature rises as insides

Melt into a flowing stream

Rushing down the steep

Trunk and begging

The trail to fade away

Glistening in moonlight

Purple juice drips

Staining the river

With deepest blood

Still so far to go

Faster can you go?

Inching across the

Green patch ever higher

Ill-colored feet

And broken teeth

Can wander again

Oh, little snail

Carrying death's grip

Racing for the last

Sweet capsule

Louder, faster

Moving quicker

Slide along in slime

Ode to the snail's fever

Patiently growing,

Patiently coming

Your grip is always slippery

When you fall into

The current you grab

With a thick foot

Shell breaks on a stone

And you are alone

Struggle above,

Wanting breath for a moment

The line can still be reached

If swimming is hard

Swifter you go

Farther you fall

Likely to lose your way

Come, come, not all

Have yet hit the bucket

Fresh preserves

Sugared juice

Don't kill yourself now

It's waiting, waiting

As Snail Fever consumes

Oh, little snail, little snail

Where are you?

Here comes your fever,

Fever that belongs to you

Spreading among all guards

Infection is the answer

Move faster, you!

Snail Fever this is,

Too late for escape

From Snail Fever.

Snail Fever's curse wants you

Oh, lookie, here comes

Snail Fever!

18 June 2005

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A/N: Another poem that doesn't belong in one of my collections. Got the idea for this while I was reading a short article on schistosomiasis in Scientific American.