When the scorpion fell into the porcelain sink bowl
From somewhere above your head as you were shaving
That time in Costa Rica when we had just met
And I was boiling water on the stove in the kitchen
You shouted for me to come and see the strange sight
Of this creature never before seen by you or me
Now caught in our dilemma as it scrabbled helplessly.
Scratching desperately at the slippery surface of its prison
We quickly discussed its potential lethality
Might it kill us ; must we kill it ?
Fear decided and we banged through drawers to find tongs
You carefully grabbed it’s hard body , it curled and struck
With shocking force against the metal restraint
And together we marched it to the boiling pot of water
Once submerged, we peered down to see its final twitch
Once cooled , with some remorse , we removed the dead thing
And placed it on the wooden table outside where we ate our meals
The ants came quickly and devoured all of its soft parts by noon
Just its exoskeleton remained , an ornamental sculpture
It decorated our table for the full two weeks
To become a daily topic of discussion, fascination , and regret
That time we encountered a potentially lethal scorpion
That time …. Before we knew each other well.
Originally published at cowbird.com.