Monday, April 16, 2012

Cycling on the Serpentine

Prayer For A Serpent

A severed finger on a layer cake or
a loaded shotgun resting on my pillow pack
a punch, numbers sixteen and twenty-seven
respectively on my list of irrational fears
trailing high narrow ledges and total
financial collapse somewhere in the top
ten but for shear ability to paralyze
nothing can touch a snake, whether it’s the
copperhead my dad dispatched with one clean
swipe of a hoe, casually tossing the
headless trophy onto the sizzling hood of
a Jeep, the unlikely presence of every
Snake of North America together in one
lush forest scene on a colorful acetate plate
in Encyclopedia Britannica
practically crawling off the page into my lap or
more recently the long black one negotiating
the warm gleaming blacktop late one afternoon
headed, I suppose, for the safety of the lake’s
marshy skirt looking exposed and
vulnerable, damned forever to crawl upon
his belly after that nasty business in
the Garden, a fate undeserved and way out
of proportion to the alleged crime, a caper
Adam and Eve, the original one-percent,
would have gleefully committed on their
own, all this as I gave him a wide berth and
peddled away offering a prayer of deliverance. 

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