While traversing an ill marked trail
A fat body faker stood in the way.
With his tail raised high and his eyes glaring
That signature sound of sand against plastic
Signaled his presence. Closer inspection
Reveled the truth hidden by that false rattle tail:
No rattlesnake, but still just as deadly.
A few pictures for souvenirs aid jokes and
Retellings of how we walked past slithering death.
“He came at us!”
“He was waiting there when we
Doubled back!” Wide eyed, slack jawed
Strangers and family members nod, agree,
Even shake their heads at the encounter
With the American Copperhead.
This poem came about in quite a comical way. I was sitting on a bench at one of the gazebos between the Fine Arts building and the Natural and Environment Sciences building writing a separate poem, when something brown fell directly onto the book I was writing in. I was so startled by this little guy’s drop onto my book, I almost screamed. 😀 After a few seconds, I realized that it was only a gecko and that he was probably more afraid of me than I had a right to be of him. The funny thing is that I think that all lizards, snakes, turtles and amphibians are very cool, a little weird I know, but then again, I probably should hate all Cane Toads (marine toads, bufo marinus) as the poison from one ended up killing one of my dogs. The thing is: I don’t look at it’s introduction to Florida as its fault. As a result, I can’t bring myself to hate a species that humans let loose such as the Cane Toad.
Well…. that was a little off subject. Any way, from being freaked out by a little lizard relative like a super preppy girl came a surge of inspiration to write this poem.
Everyday for the last couple of weeks, I would go outside to feed my horse and then power walk up and down the length of my parents property while listening to whatever my iPod played. I would do this for thirty minutes to slightly over an hour. Right as I would be getting ready to head inside, I would look over a series of PVC pipes that sit in the corner. On the outside of and within the pipes would be various tree frogs just hanging out. A part of me wanted to believe that the frogs were there because it was warm, but the problem with that is you cannot feel the heat from the flood lights which are right above this corner and it is the middle of the winter. As maybe some of you can imagine, I was slightly confused as to why they hung out on something that probably was not the warmest of materials in the winter (lows around 45 degrees at night).