By Paul Muldoon
The snail moves like a
Hovercraft, held up by a
Rubber cushion of itself,
Sharing its secret
With the hedgehog. The hedgehog
Shares its secret with no one.
We say, Hedgehog, come out
Of yourself and we will love you.
We mean no harm. We want
Only to listen to what
You have to say. We want
Your answers to our questions.
The hedgehog gives nothing
Away, keeping itself to itself.
We wonder what a hedgehog
Has to hide, why it so distrusts.
We forget the god
Under this crown of thorns.
We forget that never again
Will a god trust in the world.
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Source: Poems 1968-1998 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)
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