Looking for Slugs


My grandfather rambles off plant names
and uses the flashlight to direct us.
I could smell the growing fire
as I felt the cool, grainy dirt crawl under my fingernails,
but no slugs.
I had to find one first;
whoever did would get to drive the golf cart tomorrow.

The cat-lantern-decorated trailer
became the site of my sister and I's excavation.
We knew the routine of every night.
We dug in the dirt,
and lifted leaves of plants
while we searched for slugs.

I crouched low, looked under each leaf,
then I finally found one.
I giggled at the feel of the cool, slimy slug slide across my palm.
My grandfather spotlighted it with the flashlight
and chuckled, making me smile.

It was light grey in color, soft, and tiny.
My sister came to my side with a frown.
Tomorrow
the golf cart would be mine.

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This Poems Story

Ashley Johnson is a graduate of Longwood University with a bachelor's in English and concentration in creative writing. She likes sitting down to a good book, riding her horse, and spending time with her family. Ashley was inspired to write this poem about a memory from her family camping trips to Paradise Lake campground in Ohio. Her grandparents' trailer became home to many visits that let her and her sister laugh and play games by day, then gleefully drag logs to the fire pit at night while Pap waited with his flashlight to go on an adventure with his granddaughters.