Thursday, February 15, 2007

Prose Poem

Poetry Thursday's option this week was a prose poem. Here's my newest one.


The Order of Things: Dispatching


The snake should not have been there, in the seam of the wall and concrete slab: it disturbed the dogs. Matte: dark as raisin, with random creamy scales; the slender tip of its tail curled over itself. One of the older boys came, took shots at it with rocks and bricks. After the second, the third, the fifth solid hit it raised itself and flashed its dove-white mouth. Swaying, it struck at the bricks, the wall and finally its own thicker middle, where some bit of its guts bulged from a tear in its side soft and sexually pink. After watching it bleed out blood brighter than our own or any that we’d seen, we went inside: we watched tv, we waited for its twitching to stop.

6 comments:

twilightspider said...

Your words are finely crafted, but I could hardly stand to finish the poem. Is is strange that all I could do as I read was mourn the affronted snake?

RJGibson said...

No--I don't think it strange at all; in fact that sense of empathy/mourning is one of the intentions/concerns of the poem.

Poet with a Day Job said...

RJ - this is a great piece. I think it's hard to look at because it has so much truth. I wrote a poem that focused on how some boys rode their bikes into a dog - it was a topic in the same vein as yours. It's strange how we first learn about death by weilding our power over things smaller than us, and killing them. I often wonder if it is how human being find their place in the food chain. Anyhow, you've done a good job of portraying that horror in this poem.

strauss said...

Yes you have done a good job at revealing the horror. I am absolutely 100% snake-phobic, but I felt so sad for that snake and the cruel end it met. I was struck by the last line "we went inside: we watched tv, we waited for its twitching to stop".

gautami tripathy said...

Very vivid. But snakes are not so scary.

I for one like snakes. I have seen too many when I was younger. My grandpa taught us to respect those reptiles.

gautami
Ambrosial.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Beautifully written but oh the poor snake. The violence of youth.