Friday, September 2, 2016

"The Rattlesnake's Bride" Ross Balcom, Frequent Contributor


The Rattlesnake's Bride
Ross Balcom

1.

The park festered
in the hills.

Gnarled oaks
grew in profusion, old
and feigning wisdom.

Rattlesnakes lurked
like sex predators.

People moved
through sunlight and shadow,
animated by ancient drives.

There was an animal current,
an electricity.

It was a place
of consummations,
of rapes.

2.

Remember when
the pastor cracked
and took you there?

He made you strip naked
at knife-point.

It was night.
You shivered
and wanted to scream.

Your teenage "identity crisis"
dissolved.
You knew who you were.
As he reached for you,
you knew.

You were
the rattlesnake's bride.


Poet's Notes: There is a local (Orange County, California) park that has an abundance of rattlesnakes and a rather unpleasant atmosphere. I wrote this poem after walking the park one afternoon. (Yes, I did see a rattlesnake. It was right in the middle of the walking trail, eating a rodent. Yikes.)

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