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Garter Snake

once   sewing a patch on the sleeve of an old shirt
I saw you curled at my feet

later I found your hibernaculum
your family of gliding wonders

I learned how to freeze and listen
each unwinding coil an elongated whisper in the fescue

you and your sisters wove
down the slope around my sandals

black and yellow ribbons
flowing through parched grasses

oh   you are well worth my panegyric
serpent god’s great glow-worm fit for constellations

advancing your loops in a swift weave
to knit up the raveled sleeve of the world

© David Carpenter
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Photo Credit:

Western garter snake, Thamnophis elegans. Photo by Todd Battery

Did you know ..

Female Western Garter Snakes give birth to live young, any time from July to September., rather than laying eggs. There may be as few as one or as many as two dozen tiny newborns in a litter, which almost immediately hurry off to take care of themselves. 

Author: David Carpenter

David Carpenter began writing as a translator and reviewer in Winnipeg and Toronto. When he moved to Saskatchewan he attended a reading by the  Moose Jaw Movement.  From that moment on, he was determined to become a writer. He writes mostly short fiction and novels, but at the moment he is working a nonfiction book about wild carnivores. He lives and writes in Saskatoon.

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