Wednesday, 26 November 2014
By Arlene Corwin of Arlene Corwin Poetry
On the way to the post,
I see a snake curled up and squashed.
In shock and pain I squat
Undignified in car/road dust,
The gray-black leather sheen unwashed.
Half inspecting, half in prayer,
Grieving at his being there
I quietly approach the snake,
Then shake again with shock and pain:
He’s moving, edging toward the verge.
Skin’s been nicked and cracked
Yet moving bravely in his dirge,
The little nasal tongue has flicked.
I hover over him, my child.
The patterned, poison-free and wild
Snok* not ‘other’, but my own.
I wait until he’s reached a stone.
Perhaps it’s good to cover him.
Perhaps he’ll live.
Perhaps he’ll hide beneath the snow.
Perhaps he can survive.
He needs water. Can he heal?
Try to move him? That’s a threat.
Call a vet?
I can’t deal with this. It’s better
If I will him to his fate.
I wait and add some rotting leaves.
I’ll check tomorrow
Leaving destiny to weave
Destiny who’d never grieve.
So why should I?
*Swedish: snok, pronounced snoke - a lovely harmless snake often found in barns or near water. He’d probably been dropped by a bird. I went back and found him dead the next day.
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