Thursday, November 3, 2011

Snake Charmer (Henri Rousseau)


My father charmed a cobra with a stick.
In the Philippines, beneath our home,
He pinned it down before it could strike
My sister Laura. We gawked at the thick
Neck, the rearing, fang-edged dome,
Its hissing anger -- then Dad thrust the spike
Through and it fell, as limp as a rope.
The true snake charmer masters hope.
His flute cuts the air into primal prisms,
Then blends them into a waking vision
The reptile remembers and yearns to coil
Its length around and around to warm
Itself, finally to rub its blood into oil,
To never again need do another harm.

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