by Steven Craig

Rattlesnake, the diamondback had waited out the cooler early morning
under the warmer rock.
Testing the air, reading the morning news
Breakfast was out there
Sometimes close
Sometimes further afield
Time was would tell how far this day to crawl.

Rattlesnake tongue testing the aires, flicking at the dew drops
All the water one would need this day
Time to go
To push along the ground
Over the sand and rocks like scales
Scrapping off the nights lice

Rattlesnake. She had to go on with a life she did not choose
But one she knew so very well.
Silent she moved, slow at first, eyes alert for the game
She was always looking for a new home
One a recent storm would give her
A place out of the eagles reach

Rattlesnake in long and flowing motions, her body pushed, it slithered,
It moved to the rock, a place to look about, to sniff
The tongue flicked the newspaper of the morning
There was a scent on the heavy aire
She pointed her head in its direction
The story was one she would want to finish quickly

Rattlesnake, she moved quickly to the right and crossed the rock
Thought the bushes and creosote she raced, to hurry
To beat any other to the site of breakfast, all you can consume
Silent, quickly, faster than the blowing leaves moving toward her
The flicking tongue was her map, her gps
Her Tongue pulled her to the scent, to the joy, to her reason.

Rattlesnake, she read the scent, each flick told her its news
The description made her hormones race, her heart pump
Darting past the broken boulders, over the rotting redwood
Crickets darted out of her way as she raced now quicker
Stopping for a moment, correcting an uncertainty
There, the scent pulled her more to the right.

Rattlesnake, she finds makes no trouble for the worms and cactus
She needs that moment, that instant when her purpose is fulfilled
Passing the consumed protein on to the young she would beare live
Like a lightning bolt, she reaches the wide flat surface,
There on the just further side, was the source, the scent, familiar
A struggling jack rabbit, bleeding its life for her focus.

Rattlesnake, she stopped a moment, looked about, flicked the air.
There was no other creature near, only the wind, the rising sun was warming
She looked like a purpose ready to be made complete, to finish this morning
She moved, slower, cautious, slowly to make sure,
To strike, to wait, to consume as her kind had for a millennia.
She was coiled, looking, flicking the tongue, eyes fixed,

Rattlesnake, she looked upward at the circling shadows
Buzzards would be there soon, to take their portion
She did not want to wait long, not to be their feast at least
Jaws agape, to quickly take the moment for her own
The Large rubber tire hit her with a wallop
Flinging her in the air, rolling on the road, broken to portions
Rattlesnake. For the buzzards in the morning.
Circling knowing the story before it was ever written.

Sometimes, life is just so hard.


Posted on 05/18/2008
Copyright © 2020 Steven Craig

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 05/18/08 at 03:13 AM

This draws to mind a lot of great songs that kind of go with the imagery you've got here. Great use of metaphor throughout. Just great.

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