Last week I saw more snakes than in all four years before.
Three: first the couple and then one more, closer to home.
Dark, almost black they were.
From my spot on the station that I occupy daily
give or take
I notice them frolic in the tall grass in the sun
between the rails and the first house.
I gaze at them for five minutes, forgetting to breathe.
I am without the dog and without the camera.
Naked, so to speak.
Instead of memorizing patterns of their skin
in order to pin them down later on Wiki
I admire their non-me-ne-frega-niente stance.
They are obviously happy to see each other
each whirling around its mate.
I look around but there is nobody to witness my discovery.
Time passes and I wonder if they are waiting for you too.
Then the train is heard closer.
End of tranquillity and they know it.
Yet they don’t bother to hurry
just lift their heads a bit and dance on slowly
towards the edge of the grass
to where the path leads from the station
to where I pass twice daily
with the dog.
Train comes, people go off.
Before anybody can reach the path
the snakes cross it speedily
and hide in the thick greenery of the garden hedge opposite.
I can see them wiggle.
The first person doesn’t and passes right by them unaware.
I almost scream for her to stop.
Then I remember the dog.
The one that lives in the house behind that hedge.
He is a friend
ever since I pushed his head back in when it got stuck in the fence.
He was too happy to see us and his head was still growing.
Surely he will not be happy to see the snakes, and vice versa.
Then you appear and you see from my wild eyes
something is up.
I just point.
They are still wiggling in the setting sun.
“Aha,” you say. “And you’re without your camera.”
So I say to you all:
forget about dancing like nobody is watching.
Do it like these snakes
if you are about to make love:
proudly, loudly, or not at all.