Today's poem is by Rhina P. Espaillat

If You Ask Me

"If you ask me," said the snake, "this couple's doomed:
they started naked, not a thing to need,
a thing to wonder at, since orders boomed
over the speaker. Every day they weed
a little, see what's ripe and pluck it off,
eat this, no don't eat that. Now I'm not blind:
I see her fidget with her hair and cough
that nervous cough; she's bored out of her mind.
I see him gawk at birds and flap in vain;
then his blank eyes cloud over with the sky
and circle his estate, so green, so plain.
She's ripe to risk herself; they need to die;
unbanished, he's an ornament, a brute.
We're neighbors; I'll go visiting, with fruit."

Copyright © 2002 Rhina P. Espaillat All rights reserved
from Where Horizons Go
Truman State University Press

Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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