Scar Tissue

by David H. Brantley

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In the aftermath of rain, when the earthworms abandon
the safety of dirt and begin their trek across the driveway
and front walk,

I scavenge for them before the birds have a chance
to peck at them, the moist essing of their bodies

an attraction to the mothers that hover above
in trees, tired of the whines of babies
with ceaseless hunger and open mouths.

I do my best to save them, the worms,
the generous tenders of my garden soil,
(as I do the beetles

that trap themselves in the bird baths
stationed throughout the yard),
before the sun reclaims

the sky and dries them, the ones
who end their journey dehydrated,
like scar tissue—

pink-sheened and curled in prayer—
at the edges of grass, a few inches
from salvation.

David H. Brantley spent years helping students understand how to form complete sentences. He now spends his retirement trying to remember the lessons he taught and make sense of them in his own compositions.

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