Sunday, November 1, 2020

Not Even Not Zen 220: Snake Dance

Snake Dance

His wife screamed, "You hit it!"

as he got out of his car to look, hands on hips,

scowled at nine feet of black snake, head as big as his fist.

The serpent regarded him not at all

and only continued its slow crawl across the gravel.

"It’s fine," said Theseus. “I didn’t hit it.”

Then he surveyed the watery ditches on each side

and complained, “There’s no way around.”

"Well, you can't just run over it."

And that was that.

He picked up a dead branch and snapped off the twigs,

paused to loosen his belt a notch,

nervous and overweight, a long time since

battling Sinis or Skiron

or the embarrassing incident with the snapping turtle.

This monster looked heavy, riddled with rabbit-sized lumps,

then chipmunk-sized, mouse-sized towards the middle, 

nibbles at the tail.

Quick, like a whip it snapped

when he touched the body with the stick.

His wife screamed.

The serpent did not bite,

nor did it even even try, 

but hissed from the indignity,

Weary, it twitched to avoid the stick,

and in a minute hissed again 

from the ditch on the other side of the road,

after he tossed it a few feet 

to where it wanted to be.  

It crawled into the grass, invisible in a few seconds,

ready for the next unwary chipmunk.

They stared for a moment, silent,

at the tall weeds and ditch water.

Although Theseus killed the centaurs 

and the minotaur, long ago, to his shame,

he did manage to rescue one thing, at least.

He tossed away his weapon

and swung back into the car.

His wife tucked in his shirt.

“You’re getting slow,” she said.

“Yeah, yeah.” He slipped the car into gear

while she flicked off leaf fragments and dirt from his jeans.

Her lips brushed against his cheek

and they rolled forward

slowly, again, through another enchanted forest.

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