POETRY

Copperhead
by Linda Yeatts

A Copperhead molts at midnight.

The skin, supple, ready,

lends itself to a silky split-

Not one quiet crackle

under the wide-eyed moon.

I run up on his shed rippling coat at noon

and scan the yard in a panic.

He hides in the nearby woods.

He seems unchanged in the blinking morning-

Not a millimeter longer.

But the circumference, subtle, swelling,

spends itself with new venom

Enough to fill the pits of his world, his mouth.

Enough to make his mark

parry his problems with poison.

Not one day of this summer will go by

that I donít think of him, look for his shadow

and shiver.

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