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Scylla And Charybdis In Texas

By John I. Blair

The trail around the spring-fed lake
Travels a set of limestone layers
Split apart by gaping fissures.

On blazing summer days
These cavelets shelter sleepy snakes
From sun glare and the stare of soaring hawks.

One side of the trail the hill drops off
Forty, sixty feet, and nearly sheer,
To tangled snags and jagged rocks.

Along the other, in my rich imagination,
Snake after shaded snake, at ankle height,
Casually peers at my passing toes.

I never fall, and never meet a serpent;
But snakes unseen still chill my spine
And make my shins itch.

2004 John I. Blair


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