I dug up grubs for the classroom
snake, opened the tank,
and stuck my hand right in.

I didn’t flinch when he said
dissection was so fascinating
you forgot the frogs were dead.

I trapped a butterfly, a dragonfly,
a praying mantis, and a walking stick,
and stuck them through with pins.

I wrote a report on subcutaneous worms,
how doctors cut your skin and pull
them out by winding them on sticks.

Difficult? Yes. Disgusting, cruel,
but so much easier than uttering
love and following through.

Gwen Hart teaches writing at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. She is the author of the chapbooks Losing Ohio (Finishing Line Press) and Dating the Invisible Man (The Ledge Press), and the full-length collection Lost and Found (David Robert Books).

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