I bought a container of four hornworms.
Best known as tomato plant eaters.
Instead of four,
Surprised by one large caterpillar.
Left to wonder,
did it cannibalize the other three?
Featured as the displayed arthropod
Not yet adult,
modeled insect’s mid life cycle.
Without its permission,
children held and gently stroked it.
Expressing awe at its cuteness;
Skin colored a striking blue green.
Dropped on the ground.
No sound of pain heard.
Unapologetically picked up.
Returned to its safe container.
Pet store sale meant for insectivores.
Rescued with the possibility to Sphinx Moth.
Brown colored, soft, lifeless body ended that dream.
By: Marcia Beckford