The squirrels in this bird nest are marginalising the snakes.
We measure the nest. It must have been a very big bird.
We fashion a podium determined to do what it takes.
We clamour for silence in a fey futile wish to be heard.
The snakes glisten. They listen, we think, with their darting forked tongues.
The squirrels chatter on, scatter off, commandeer the dry places.
The water wraiths rise and make light of our ladder’s low rungs.
The serpentine similes formed by our moistening boot laces
give signals we sapiens and serpents and squirrels are in deep
in this nocturnal nonsense disturbing what should be our sleep.
The wind less dark than coal tar still sufficed
by jiggery-pokery to keep us in the dark.
It scrambled clouds and ringed the moon with ice,
eclipsed it with the world. No solar spark
traversed Earth’s molten core to light the ring
of atmospheric ice around the moon.
The walk home in the dark was twice as frightening
as we had dreaded all the afternoon.
You walked ahead and waved to keep your torch
alight and upright so we’d not get lost.
I saw the large dog pad down from the porch.
Your light blew out precisely when you crossed
your arms to shield your throat as I had dreamed
you would, and since you could not then, I screamed.