Poems by Ann Taylor

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Merenchytraeus solifugus

by Ann Taylor

From Canary Spring 2013

Ann lives in eastern Massachusetts on a small hill overlooking a glacial pond that is part of the Mystic River Watershed.

In this land of Denali
vistas, picnics with bears,
icebergs huge and blue,
I’m startled by a one-inch
black thread surfacing
from Portage’s solid ice,
deliberately prodding into air.

This unique celebrity,
the “sun-fleeing” ice worm,
lives only in west coast glaciers,
rises at sunset, mates in frozen ponds,
burrows through block ice,
puzzles airlines,
ice cream companies,
organ transplant teams.

It stars in its own
Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail,
and at Cordova’s February
Ice-Worm Festival
where Miss Ice Worm’s
fifty-foot, deep blue, red-eyed,
Chinese-dragon-style worm
meanders frozen roads.

The real one melts
above 41degrees,
with the gentle heat
of a human touch –
an unwanted
small new worry.

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