Monday, October 15, 2012

Coyote and the rattle snake

Vagabond, prankster, warrior
Seducer, even fool,
Coyote never takes anything for granted
Never trusting the rattle snake
Even when inviting the slithering creature
Into his house to eat
First making an offering of food
Fit for coyote not snake,
Then giving the snake bits of grain
On the top of its nose
The snake rattling its tail at the other end
the whole time
Making the always wary Coyote nervous
While beckoning the Coyote closer,
Saying, "I don’t bite,”
when  Coyote knows he does,
the tip of the snake’s tongue
slipping out between his fangs,
too-ruthless for Coyote to ever
completely trust
even by someone as elusive
as Coyotes always are,
clever and illusive
but rarely ruthless,
knowing that outside in this world
there are beasts even more ruthless
that this pathetic snake could ever be,
beasts that care nothing about
fang, tongue or rattling tail
that would snap a snake’s head off
if it ever tried to bite,
or break the back of a coyote
who ceased being wary or wise
enough to think he’s bigger than they are
when he’s not.

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