In Your Own Words: ‘Fitful Dreams’
Those of us writing through Dave Malone’s Tornado Drill for my 3-week course In Your Own Words are sharing poems.
Here’s mine for session 5, which references that old story about two wolves and which one you feed. I wrote the poem after reading Denise Levertov’s “Talking to Grief” and Mary Oliver’s “Ribbon Snake Asleep in the Sun” from her collection Thirst on the same morning.
The One You Feed
One does not flirt with a ribbon snake,
does not feed it the way one might
break bread with a stray dog
or even a stray wolf.
One does not attempt to touch
even a harmless garter snake. One
does not wait for it to fall asleep
so as to stare into its cool eyes.
One does not begrudge an eastern snake
its grass, its sunny rock and does not
disturb its weedy curtains or
invade its porch shade. There is no
two-ness as you vamp alongside one another
— animalia, chordata, reptilia