Sunday, September 9, 2012

besmilr brigham

Heaved from the Earth

after the tornado, a dead moccasin
nailed to the pole
boards scattered across a pasture

lying fierce crosses
jagged in mud

had flung itself
nail and wood
the square-head animal
hurled also in air

or as it raced in weeds
)water flowing, water falling
both the snake and timber
went flying through the wind

coiled, made a coil (they do
immediately from danger or when hurt
and died in a coil
bit itself
in pain of its own defense the poison

                                       hurled into yard
                                       one with feet tangled gripping
                                       the open wire, a big Jay

struggling from the water
throwing its fanged head
high at the lightning, silent
in all that thunder

to die by its own mouth
pushing the fire thorns in

--besmilr brigham

fr. Heaved from the Earth
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971)


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