Mountain Garter Snake
I wouldn’t have seen you had I not been on the alert.
and lightning stripes, the silent parting of grasses
I’d come to think of you as a tacit friend. Today, though,
stopped, then raised your severe head on your slender
sycamore leaves and spring’s tangle of vetch, and I heard
both of us motionless. Some time into this arrangement,
we’ve crossed a threshold, and was happy and awestruck
above the tan leaves, the green net of vetch and the purple
that I knew next to nothing, and you not at all. That you’re
you returned to your errand, your realm, I stood there long
There’s a Day
not to change anything,
just to live it a little more awake.
But of course that would change it.
in a blue t-shirt and grass-stained jeans
is pulling weeds. Oh! It’s the one I married,
the boy with the curly hair and sweet voice,
a few decades on. October afternoon, warm
breeze. At breakfast we agreed to reheat
last night’s curry for dinner, leftovers
having emerged as something of a theme for us.
As in: what’s left of us, now the kids are gone.
As in: suppose we take what’s left and kick
it up a notch, now the flavors have settled in.
As if he’s heard my thoughts, he looks up at me,
grins, waves a fistful of filaree my direction
before he tucks and rolls down the hill.
Catherine Abbey Hodges is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently In a Rind of Light (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2020). Her first book, Instead of Sadness, won the Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press. Professor of English Emeritus at Porterville College, Catherine is a staff reader for SWWIM and an advisory editor for Anacapa Review.