Oct/Nov 2018 Poetry


by Will Reger

Public domain image adapted by Tom Dooley


I found them wrapped together in a stiffened
embrace the ancients might have made into a sigil
for courage, to paint on their chests or
inscribe on their flags.

Too cold for the comfort of snakes in the open,
yet a copperhead found a flat sunny stone
and died there in struggle with a fox
that came too close.

The valiant serpent stabbed with poisonous
fangs at the foe and hung from his haunch
twisting around his flaming brush;
the intrepid fox snarled and jumped,
unable to escape, tore in vain at
the sinuous flesh.

For those who now pass by—no portent,
no sign for warriors marching off to their battle,
no hand of God or message from the occult.
Nothing here but nature working,
and a poem for me. The poem is mine.


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