Black Snake at Wild Acres

Her middle, thick as my wrist,

curved an S across the trail.

The span of her blackness lay as long as I am.

Her tail curled off the trail downhill;

her head, uphill, she lifted high in liquid motion

to turn her gaze on me.

She flicked and flicked her tongue.

I don’t know how my presence tasted;

hers, woke me like a Buddhist bell,

like a caesura in the woods.

We each stayed still

except for her licking of the air.

I noted the coal of her blackness

I perceived her faint orange markings

Her silence soothed my nerves.

I began to befriend her with praise.

Maybe she listened. Maybe she was God.

That’s when she slid her smoothness onward.

The sight of her undulation

caused my jaw to fall.

She wove herself rhythmically

onto a branch of rhododendron,

insinuating her mystery into the tree,

until the trail

was empty of her wonder.

Now in my mind, she whispers sibilant:

Raise your head and taste,

taste the air, take your time.

That is how to recognize

which next way

to curve your being.                       

©Susa Silvermarie 2015







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