Submitted by Duncan Richardson

on a patch of lawn near reception
a red-bellied black snake suns itself
into gun metal glare
scaring a passing child in its stillness
or is it the jab in her mother’s voice
“Look out! Snake!”

I absorb the languid coils of its body
wondering how hard muscle and lightning
can disguise themselves as silk
– sunlight blades from its scales
into my eyes

that night I try to inhabit snake consciousness
wondering where the creature is
and if its memory stretches
to that morning

but snake mind is beyond the radar of words
so all I hear is a hollow ‘ping’
as the beams come back

Photo Credit: Otto Marseus van Schrieck – Still Life with Snake, Butterfly and Mushrooms

4 thoughts

  1. SCALES is carefully observed, rhythmically smooth; syllables tuned to a sterling fork. Excellent work. Best I’ve seen to date on VITA BREVIS.

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