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Summer/Fall 2019

Snake Handling


by Terry Hall Bodine


It loops leisurely across the back drive,

six feet long and as thick as my wrist,

black snake no more menacing

than a stiff length of rope. My daddy

hates snakes. Whacked with the edge

of a garden hoe, backed over by the pick-up,

the thing still shimmies against the tires.

Daddy finally fires a couple bullets

through its head—damn hard to kill,

that snake. Like love. Where it coils in the pit

of my heart I feel the quiver of its tongue;

I sense it seductively shift its rattle.



[Check out Terry Hall Bodine's back porch advice]