"At Times the Characters Will Be Unlikable " 

by Cal Freeman

 

The worm on the patio

is bent like a yanked roofing nail.

Glommed with little ants,

it has no nerve center

by which to feel the pain.

But let’s not make poetry

of the lives we couldn’t lead.

You never have to frame a man.

The truth will always suffice.

Or so Willie Stark tells us

in All the King’s Men.

A worm is like a gulf

behind a bight of sand;

it rides inside the bellies

of the swells.

It’s brave to ride it out

while knowing that fortune

and fate must be the same.

Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs. His writing has appeared in many journals including Southword, The Moth, The Poetry Review, Southwest Review, The Journal, and Hippocampus.