I wasn’t afraid of snakes…

My apologies for not posting a poem yesterday. A confluence of unfortunately events left me insufficient time. I owe you one. Here’s yesterday’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, pick an insect (any insect), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Praying Mantis,” “Ants,” and “Grasshoppers.” I’ll even except other creepy crawlies, like spiders, slugs, and leeches (shiver). Sorry in advance if this prompt gives you the heebie-jeebies; feel free to use insect repellent in your verse.


I wasn’t afraid of snakes, until then.

I was walking along a tourist jungle trail, surrounded by shades of green, humid air making sweat redundant. I touched the trunk of an ancient tree, larger than my car, rumpled bark flaking under my hand, furry vines trying to pull it down.

Something rustled in the vast canopy. One of the branches was moving, telltale geometric markings gliding slowly, the way branches don’t. It seemed the tree was more snake than wood, coiled and draped among the leaves.

Eyes wide, heart thumping, paralyzed, do I return the way I came or continue onwards? Which direction gets me out fastest? The decision was made when something large enough to hug a man to death, languidly fell onto the trail, first it’s midsection, then the tail and finally the head as if in slow motion.

I don’t think I screamed but there were sounds, like waking from a nightmare. I ran the other way as it sauntered into the underbrush.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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