Cold Blooded

Here is another poem based on a dream:



I laughed when I described this dream;

 its image of hibernating snakes.

My dream self is rolling them up in wool—blanketing them

with such silly seriousness.

snake rolls IMAGE

I’m packing you away now, I say,

but keeping you

wrapped in wool blankets.

Don’t die.

I’m wedging you into my cracks

blocking me,

but you are insulated.

My poor snakes are cold again

cold and stiff old snakes.

Stay alive, I tell them.

I don’t want to store you

putting you away again like fine lace, too nice

too rare.

 I’d worked years to thaw your coils

only to make them stiff again

and hard.

So I wrap them.

Dare I hope my sedated snakes will revive,

become once more wiggling and alive,

if I abandon them?

At least I know they’re here, inside.

No! I can’t say it this time.

Can’t say …Wait for me.

I’ve worked too hard.

I want instead to shake them awake

from dormancy.

I want them alive and with me,

colorful green ones handy in my pocket

and a bagful of angry rattlesnakes.

I even want back the big black snake

who moves under my shirt to sleep below my heart.

I want the serpent rainbow.



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