The snake


The snake

By the boggy pond
In the cattails
Whose brown seeds
From the year before
Spilt upon the ground
Scattered by the wind
Near the green shoots of spring
By the boggy pond
Slithers in the grass
A snake
This demon of deceit
Both stopping suprised, snake and I
Eye to eye,
Stick stiff and very wary
Both wondering
Is he kind or evil

Kansas Garter Snake
Kansas Garter Snake

I, master of the earth
Can I grab him by the tail
Will he bite me with his teeth
Watch me vomit and retch
Until my guts are spilt
And mingled in the mud and dirt
Cough while my lungs collapse,
Numb in my extremities
I, master of the earth
Brought down
By man’s mortal enemy
Far from home and help
Here by the boggy pond
I will meet my end
By this humble snake
Who has no legs
And cannot run like me
Long I tarry in silence
For death, patiently complaisant,
Graciously awaits my decision
When, I suppose,
The snake tiring
Sticks his tongue out
As if to laugh
Turns and slithers in the grass
This King of his domain
Slithers away to where
He hears a frog croak
Or an unlucky nestling
Crying for his meal
He, Lord of his terrain
There are tastier things to eat
Than me

snake (1)


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