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  • Writer's pictureJean Linville

leaving home

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

August 18 - August 22


I firmly close the front door, pat my zippered pocket

fingertips confidently confirming the contents

keys, phone and a small wrapped snack

then sling the backpack of carefully chosen

belongings over my shoulder and head to the airport

only later experiencing the raw poke of a few

favorite things left behind somewhere at home


half a day away the uneasy longing evaporates

into zebra butterflies, green geckos and

several snails attached barnacle-like

to the roughly textured side of the house

soft, supple bodies safely barricaded

within beautifully striped shells they

have constructed for themselves


I watch these immobile wall earrings hang

on the sun-scorched surface for several days

snail miles away from water and anything edible

finally a morning rain and their estivation ended

there is not a snail to be found as I bend down

whispering a word of thanks into the grass

to the travelers who comforted me far from home






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Bethe Hagens
Bethe Hagens
Aug 23, 2021

Immobile wall earrings will stay with me. I don’t know anything at all about them. Are these shells they create, or are they hermits who find “discarded homes”? Looking at the flood in Tennessee as I read this. I’ve never been so conscious of water

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Jean Linville
Jean Linville
Aug 23, 2021
Replying to

I bet we do and we all know that we are continuing building all kinds of shells throughout our life. On a much lighter, animated note, have you ever seen DreamWorks snail movie Turbo? Molly and I love it! I am bringing her back an empty snail shell from the yard.

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