Copperhead

Bent low over the young copperhead making his

way across the street, I noticed the pattern on the

scales looked like God was chewing tobacco when

he spit in the clay that became this kind of snake,

a pattern that offered impeccable cover amid pine

straw and roots. But this guy was on asphalt, not

leaf litter, and he was gasping, each slender breath

a struggle from wounds at neck and tail, two gashes

opened by tooth or talon from which bits of viscera

emerged. So his position in the street had naught

to do with crossing, and all to do with dropping

from the height achieved by whatever snatched

him up and changed its mind. With neither donkey

nor denarii, I used a dogwood stick for hospice

transport to a quiet spot beneath a stand of trees

where, blending nicely, he died in peace.

 

©Dana Hughes 7.16.18

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