Snake Song

by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, September 2008
Judged by Tony Barnstone


I was never intended to be unique.
Dawn appears as a shapeless cloud opening up
the path and I believe in the world beyond
my vision. Every dreamer is different.

Some seek sunlight, some seek shade, others sleep
in a starless night. In the witch grass a mate
slipped me out of my coal-grey suit. She cleaved
a blanket of ghost-skins. She belonged to me
and not the earth, and we dissolved from flame

to ash. Her truth is as flexible as her spine.
In high summer thousands tangle with the wind.
We are the wild braids on a mother’s head.
We whistle our death tunes through the bones
of fallen sparrows. We feast on the banquet
of morning as the sun strikes the day like flint.

I am not the lowest of creatures and yet
I haven’t been blessed with wings. I will not
entreat the trees to rustle their goodbyes
and cover me in leaves. I won’t beg shivering
stars into harvesting wishes on me. My blood thickens
and sets. I shrink again into the crimson ground.



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