“Burning the Brush Pile”

I find among my keepings a poem by Galway Kinnell published in the New Yorker June 19, 2006. Its title is “Burning the Brush Pile.”

Tending the pile, the speaker discovers a small, half-burnt snake still alive:

“It stopped where the grass grew thick
and flashed its tongue again, as if trying
to spit or spirit away its pain,
as we do, with our growled profanities,
or as if uttering a curse, or — wildest fantasy —
a benediction. Most likely it was trying to find
its whereabouts, and perhaps get one last take
on this unknown being also reeking of fire.
Then the snake zipped in its tongue
and hirpled away into the secrecy of the grass.”

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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