the visitor on the verandah
with a sinuous slip was away
of the washing basket
head down towards the uncut grass
sliding ess-es ess-es
hell for leather

one blink and he was gone

well before my legs would move

before I could cry aloud

a s-s-s-s…
it’s a s-s-s…

I call my self a strong man
strong enough to meet my burdens
but the other day
I saw a copperhead on the verandah
yet when I looked again
it wasn’t there

just a ripple in the gentled grass
already a memory that made me jumping-tense

when the dog sniffed
at a sheet of tin

when the wind kissed
a stray tickle of my hair

and every time I think of the sinuous sliding
ess-ess-ess of snake

I’m not really very strong
not very strong
at all

© Frank Prem, 2012

2 thoughts on “s-s-s-strength

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