Paul Jones: “Snake”


I used to be afraid in other ways.
When one fear comes another goes away,
I should count myself lucky in that way.
My fear of apes at night just fell away
when I saw a snake put a rat away.
Those fanged apes were dream creatures anyway.
The snake coiled and crushing. Death underway.
Those sounds. The hissing. A shriek. They outweigh
sleep's imagined deaths. They won't fade away
at dawn. Experience smooths night's highway.
Like rockets, fears race down the straight-away.
Then they take my head for their hideaway.
I used to be afraid in other ways.
But then I saw the black snake's weave and sway.

About the Author: Paul Jones poems have recently appeared in Hudson Review, Grand Little Things, Tar River Poetry, and not so long ago here in As It Ought To Be. His book, Something Wonderful, came from RedHawk Publications in 2021. In 2019, a manuscript of his poems crashed into the lunar surface carried in Israel’s Beresheet Lander. In 2021, he was inducted into the NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame.


Image Credit: Image originally published in Descriptiones et icones amphibiorum. Monachii, Stuttgartiae et Tubingae, Sumtibus J.G. Cottae1833. Public domain image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library