Snake Charmer

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our Pastor, he charmed them snakes.
Mostly copperheads ‘cause they just small enough to
Wrap your hand around them necks all the way.

Yes, he was real well liked in our
town. ‘Cept for the ladies who always shrieked
like pigs in the slaughterhouse when he reached out to shake
a hand. They’s always ‘fraid of the venom comin’ out
of the snake’s skin,
thinkin’ that if he ever carried ‘em too hard
they coul’ be squeezed like a lemon,
poison runnin’ down, down.

The Bible says the Serpent is the Devil.

‘Course no such thing coulda happened ‘cause
them copperheads, they poisonous,
but only by the mouth.

“Stay away from him, y’hear,” all the
ladies would yell at the chil’en.
But they don’ care. They knew the truth
about him and the snakes.
It sure ain’t somethin’ you see ev’ryday.

Last Sunday, though, the Pastor brung his
snakes out. He sang the hymns without
no ‘companiment.

The choir practices in the basement.

One snake, it jus’ lift its head up from the ground,
stretchin’ its body up to the Heavens. The snake sway
back ‘n’ forth with the skinny river birch. Pastor hums
the end of the verse and hold his hands over his thighs.
We all jus’ stare at his eyes, Close’ Eyes. His eyes close soft and
he stop singing. The snake at his feet, ‘tached by the mouth.

The men stomp that snake to death before sun down,
and throw him in the grave. No more shriekin’,
‘less the pigs getting killed.


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