One day when I was walking
I heard a tiny sound
as if someone was talking
in whispers near the ground.

I stopped and looked around me
and saw some silvery trails
and peering even closer,
I found a group of snails.

So, bending down to listen
it gave me quite a lurch
to realise these molluscs
were actually a church.

The biggest snail was speaking.
(I found it somewhat odd
to hear him give his sermon
about the love of God,

but listened very closely,
ensured I’d got it right,
and wrote it down verbatim
when I got home that night).

He stated God had given
each one of them a shell
to hide from quick surprises
which rush you into hell.

He stated God had made them
so measured and so slow
since looking before leaping is
the only way to go;

the way ahead was rocky;
what must be borne in mind
was not a gritty future,
but the golden trail behind.

The congregation listened,
each eye upon its stalk
with evident enjoyment
of a such a sluggish talk.

I wandered home in wonder
after my walk was done
to think there must be churches
that will suit anyone.

© Lucy Berry