A Summer Snake

This poem I wrote as a reply to Mary Oliver’s poem ‘The Summer Day’. Oliver’s poem sparked certain emotions which fueled this poem. I recommend reading Oliver’s poem before reading this if you want to view it as a reply or you could read it as it own original poem.

A Summer Snake

Who are you to ask me that?

What if there is nothing I want to do with my life?

What if I cannot decide, and am stuck in this endless cycle

of boredom and silence?

I want to experience a summer day like yours.

I yearn to hear more than the white noise in my mind;

to take a walk without questioning my existence.

I do not see the grasshopper;

in the tall grass lies a snake.

He is coiled and cold.

Staring at me- with never blinking eyes.

His head bobs back and forth, as if he’s sizing me up.

Am I the predator, or prey?

I beg that he does not throw himself at me,

the way your grasshopper did.

Sometimes being attentive is a curse, being aware all the time.

It makes it near impossible

to enjoy a summers day.

Why is your version so sweet, like the sugar in your palm?

Mine is filled with a flicking tongue and venom.

He’s on the move now,

heading straight for me.

Why won’t this snake just leave?

Wrapping his way up my body,

a shiver runs up my spine.

My overactive, anxious mind doesn’t need encouragement.

So why did you ask those questions?

Why don’t I know what to do with this precious life?

I have been bitten.

– Ashleigh Tucker


Published by ashleight607

I'm a 23 year old studying writer with Cystic fibrosis. I have two cats and a dog and live in a small town in the Highlands.

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