The Nephew Nature Trail
by Marianne MacRae
A cartoonish stop,
your magpie eye caught
as though snapped in a snare.
You bend, scoop and turn,
your face split open into a shoreline,
an oceanic grin fit to drown me.
“A jewel! A jewel!” you cry.
Bending for a closer look I see your prize sat,
solid and slimy as a fried mushroom.
That’s a slug,” I say. “They live out here.”
“Is it real?” you ask.
About as real as you and me.?
You turn your hand over and it falls to the ground,
easy and uninteresting as a breath.
I look down at the shiny orange-grey pebble
slowly mewling back towards the secret doorways of the grass,
where you and me do not exist;
where time crackles like a radio signal.