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  • Writer's pictureGastropoda

Slugged by Annie Cowell

Found, flaccid,

amongst my greens,

I scooped you on the shovel’s tip

and lobbed you over the wall.

Repulsive as a toddler with a snotty nose

I was relieved to be rid.

Next day, tiny teeth had left their

mark on every shoot. Declaring war

I crushed egg shells and scattered them like a fortress -

imagined moist flesh tearing.

Yet still you came, and now at dusk

I bury a crock in the soil and fill it with beer.

‘Foolproof’ my neighbour said,

promising death in its sweetness.

Later, cocooned in sleep

a baby’s foot withers

and I awake, gulping.

Your crystal trail glistens

with a duper’s delight -

mocking my attempts at victory.

A single cabbage survives the skirmishes.

Nurtured to maturity;

picked with pride.

And when at last

I slice my prize

you are there





Annie Cowell grew up in Marske-by-sea a fishing village steeped in history and folk tales. Twenty years ago, she swapped a London career for teaching amidst the olive groves of Cyprus. Her agented debut novel, “The Moon Catcher” is on submission and she now writes full - time.

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