I can’t tell you how long
it’s been since I’ve seen
a snake around here, mostly
because my sense of time
has limits of a decade.
I read that they are plentiful
in the Everglades, hunted
as an invasive species, which
probably stands to reason
since our hatred is by now
of Biblical proportions, and we
have learned to love goats,
so, it is the snake that now
is consigned to be the source
of all our errors and failings.
And were that not enough,
you cannot trust what a snake
says for obvious reasons, but you
must ignore that the hummingbird
beloved by all, also has a forked tongue.
He was quite tall for then, even
tall for now, and that hat must have
added almost a foot, a mortician
likely as not, if not a lawyer.
He wrote eloquently, even if his voice
was not quite of his stature, his words
always had impact, digging in the
gray and blue bled soil of Pennsylvania.
Today would be eleven score
and nineteen and I doubt the forefathers
would recognize the creation or want to.
7800 dead, 27,000 wounded, all watered
the Pennsylvania Farms with tears,
and today the soil has been given over
to stark down signs telling us
what they think we ought to know,
devoid of pain, devoid of impact.
Eleven score and nineteen
and we say to those knocking
at our door, “not now, we’re full,
there is no room at this inn
for the likes of you and yours.”