Snake, by Ian Mudie
Suddenly the grass before my feet
shakes and becomes alive.
twists, almost leaps
graceful even in terror,
smoothness looping back over smoothness,
slithers away, disapears.
And the grass is again still.
And surely, by whatever means of communication
is available to Snakes,
the word is passed:
Hey, I just met a man, a monster too;
must have been oh seven feet tall
So keep away from the long grass,
it’s dangerous there.
I have ‘done’ that poem so often with a number of the primary classes that I’ve taught but have come across snakes only recently twice.
A few months ago, at River Islands where it reared up and then fled from me across the Wollondilly River and this one, on the path down to Smoky North Beach.
I waited politely for a minute or two, until, after I stepped forward, my ‘friend’ slithered away. (Even though I’m only 5’8" and shrinking.)