Asp Viper, By Clive Eastwood

Clive is the ex-chairman of the Society who 
now lives in Suffolk, but remains a member. 
This poem was selected for Folio #72 in 2018.

Asp Viper

It must be newly dead.
Its body turns, flexes
as I lift it. The tongue curls still
round a flake of scent -
or is that my unsteady hand
as I move it off the road?

I want the snake to be alive:
the kinked wishbones
patterning its back,
the taches like praying hands
either side of its skull. I want
to glimpse it disappearing,
to know by a rustle of leaves
that I am within inches.

I want unreasonably,
like a child, a townsman.
By day three, the corpse
is stiff, still looped
as I left it, with fire bugs
walking on its eyes.

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