Friday, March 11, 2016

Poetry Friday -- Worms on the Sidewalk

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Kurt Bauschardt
by Dan Gerber

You know how, after it rains,
my father told me one August afternoon
when I struggled with something
hurtful my best friend had said,
how worms come out and
crawl all over the sidewalk
and it stays a big mess
a long time after it’s over
if you step on them?

(the rest of the poem is at American Life in Poetry)

It's been warm and rainy and the worms are out on the sidewalks. Two fourth grade girls walking out to the buses this afternoon were having a grand time squealing every time they saw one. All the while, I sent out silent wishes that the carelessly tramping feet would miss all the humble worms who had been rained out onto the sidewalk on a warm March afternoon.

Irene has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Live Your Poem.


  1. I love this one. Thank you.

  2. Oh the things we can learn... from worms! Thank you, Mary Lee. xo

  3. I love Dan Gerber's wise advice! When I saw the title of your post, I was guessing it might be your contribution to Amy's DMC challenge this month. Alas, no, but it does fit the bill perfectly doesn't it? I think we need a worm poem this month (hint hint).

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I hope the worms can squirm away from the human feet and escape safely.

  5. Glad you are getting the warm spring rains.

  6. No robins about? :)

  7. And I hope that many learn they can touch them and carry them back. Thanks, Mary Lee, good observation. I'm wishing for some of your rain, too.

  8. Loved that poem - I can't wait to share this with my kids, it will surely resonate.

  9. Not all of them make it back into the ground. I often wonder if the worms decide it is better to risk a sidewalk rather than drown. Of course, worms don't have much of a thought process, still...

  10. That is food for thought, that advice. I remember walking to school each morning as a kid, and avoiding the worms. Especially after dissecting them, imagining their five hearts, beat-beating. Friendship is even tougher for kids to navigate, and a dad's advice is too true. Some things have to be let go. Great thought-provoking post.

  11. This reminds me of a poem a student wrote. He had limited English, but his poem spoke. Something about worms coming out on a rainy day moved him.

    We walk to school after the rain.
    Worms on the sidewalk
    Poor worm.

  12. What a sweet poem. It's hard to let go of those hurts, but so wise!

  13. Thank you so very much for sharing that very telling poem! I love when fathers give advice; reminds me of "Enemy Pie." So glad you included your humane commentary! (I'll think twice next time I go to squish a worm.) Thank you! God bless you.


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