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I wake the snakes on the way to the lake
Coiling in leaves, slithering at my feet
Half-seen in the low branches, thick brown waists
Headless, tailless stone still in wait for me
To trip them into slithering again.
Are they going to bite? I doubt it.
They’re enjoying themselves too much and slide
On in the fear and excitement of my
Approaching steps. Without ever really
Seeing them slip into the rippling depths
On the briar’s edge of the round abyss
Water snakes have taken the day with them.
Here comes the night. Everything fades from sight.
A frog peeps. There is sound, song but no light.

The water snake sonnet starts out with a rhyme ABAB but its other end rhymes got lost in the rewriting as it went its own way like a snake through the brush to come back at the end in a couplet.

Drawings by Akram

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