COTTONMOUTHS

My father has never seen so many.

They warm themselves on a boulder

one hundred feet below

on the coal pit’s rim,

rearing square oversized jaws,

writhing into knots and untangling.

They drop into the water one by one,

push rabid foamy pods

across the scorched surface

with trap sprung mouths,

mount the boulder again.

We sit above them, tackle box at our feet,

our eyes held by their fangs

until sun burns the morning clear.

There will be another time to fish.

 
 
 
 
 

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