I am startled when I uncover a worm
digging in the garden, a grub worm
with its little orange head, spiraled
white body and wiggling legs laying
on its side tempting my spade to take
its life which it does with two quick
jabs. I know what beetle larvae can do.
I’m comforted when I come upon a
red wiggler, an earthworm winding
its way through the soil, replenishing
as it goes. I lament when my shovel
cuts between its five hearts, leaving only
half alive. I do not consider how worms
measure value. Their struggle is our own.

Ronald J. Pelias spent most of his career writing books, e.g., If the Truth Be Told (Brill Publications), The Creative Qualitative Researcher (Routledge), and Lessons on Aging and Dying (Routledge), that call upon the literary as a research strategy. Now he writes for the pleasures of putting words to the page.