Carolyn Gregory – The Worm

Carolyn Gregory

The Worm

On a rainy day, she went
with a friend to view the Big Dig.

It was like walking into a giant root canal,
buttressed by cement and posts.
She never knew the worm had entered her ear.

When she returned to the office,
the worm had already tripled in size.
It took up residence near her navel
where it could listen to conversations
and plot revenge.

Soon her skin turned green
and she developed a twitch.
Whiskers sprouted on her upper lip
as the worm told her to write bad job reviews.
It was very insistent!

So she followed the boss
though she was surprised
at how much time she spent digging
in her garden
and how the other workers
mattered less and less.

At the celebration,
the director called her a “rare gem”
and gave her Mikimoto pearls
but how can a worm wear jewelry?

Five employees left that year
after getting small raises.
She grew segmented around the middle,
wore a wide belt to hide the change.
At home, she built a terrarium
where worms mated and danced under glass.

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