to the earth

(mentions animal death)

we walked through the quiet cove, middle-aged hemlocks locking overhead in a canopy that keeps us cool. a sight ahead stops us short; a shiny, ropey black line draped across the crook of a tree forked near the ground.

"black ratsnake," i said. a rattler would have asked us to go away by now. it wasn't moving, and i couldn't see the head from the trail, so i cautiously circled around to the other side of the tree. its eyes were hard to see, under the cloud of flies looking for a soft spot in the scales to reach the flesh.

"snake ran out of snake. it's dead for sure."

and i thought, how peaceful it must be, to know that you are out of snake, drape yourself over a log, and slowly give your body back to the forest.

later, a garter snake barely flinched when i walked past it; i bent down and looked at its healthy, full body, dark scales that gave off a rainbow sheen. it curled into a question mark, resting its chin on its body to face me.

the world is full of things.

08 June 2018 00:14

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