Who Speaks for the Snakes?

I read THIS article and I was inspired to write a (possibly allegorical, possibly sarcastic) poem.  I loved Dr. Seuss so I owe him a debt of gratitude for the loving innocence he inspires, and must apologize for my own corruption.

Who Speaks for the Snakes?  11/12/2015, Deon Mumple

Near the middle of town where the lights are broken,
When the lights are repaired, they get broken again,
And no birds ever sing but caged ones, now and then,
Is the street where there now lives a snake.

In a home that was beautiful, once, in its’ day,
When the builder’s last nail was nailed into its’ place
And the painter’s paint shined like a powder-less face,
It’s not pretty now, with an overgrown lawn
And the neighbors either love to hide, or they’ve gone
To a new neighborhood in the suburbs of town

In that home lives an innocent snake in the grass,
Who politely answers any questions one asks,
“Who the fuck are you, man? Go away, kiss my ass!”
He might have a helper, two helpers, or more,
Who help with his work on the street-corner store,
They sell marvelous things to help those who are sore,
To feel better, for a while
They might even smile,
Until their pains come to re-pain them some more.

He’s helping the snakes, all the innocent ones,
He is hard-working, out of the light of the sun,
And he offers the innocent snakes something fun
And they all slither up and offer him their mon-
-ey they all worked to earn, oh the things that they’ve done!
They’ve done things, and then, to the corner they run.

I speak for the snakes, who slither in the grass,
You know they’re all innocent, let them just pass
Some time in your neighborhood, breaking your glass
And painting artwork on your neighborhood walls,
And helping themselves to your things,
And learning “why the caged bird sings,”
And running away when the lighted car calls,
To the darkness of night, to their own little halls.

The innocent snakes! Oh, listen to their song,
Singing, no one can prove they’ve done anything wrong
While they’ve played in the dark
On swingsets in the park
Or they’ve stayed safely resting at home all along.

Snakes are fathered by other snakes, of course,
Who leave mothers lonely with housework and chores,
Who raise children, struggling themselves, for resource,
The fathers will innocently smile at new snakes,
To charm them right out of their skin, for fuck’s sakes,
And leave another viper brood, those old rakes!
Mom and kids do what they have to
The innocent kids… well, what would you do?
Growing up they all make their fair share of mistakes.

There once was a man who lived on the same street,
Who smiled fearfully, but was friendly, to meet,
As he walked from his job to get something to eat,
You won’t see him there, he’s not there any more,
Though he lives a few feet from view, under the floor
Of well-kept meadow grounds in Stonemark, still adored.

A snake asked him kindly to give up some cash,
But he had none, he kept walking, then, hit in a flash,
As, just at random, a bullet rudely smashed
From somewhere in the darkness out there somewhere
And fearing for his life, the snake ran out of there
After checking to see what the nice man might share.

He stays quiet now, living deep in his rut,
With a heart that’s not beating, and eyes that are shut,
And embalmed skin that still shows the coroner’s cut,
And the hole that ended this sweet, sad, nice man’s life,
And stole him away from his now widowed wife,
Who moved to a hiding place, far from the strife.

But the snakes are still there, laying eggs in their nests,
When they poison another, watch them thump their chests.
And police only visit with bullet-proof vests.
In a neighborhood street where the lights are broken
And when they are repaired, they’re broken again,
Because snakes love the darkness to cover their sin.

3 thoughts on “Who Speaks for the Snakes?

  1. Not to invalidate the intended metaphors, but it really truly pains me to have snakes so maligned (in society and history) as such vile creatures. I had a pet snake who was not slimy, not sinful, just smooth scales and affectionate. She also wasn’t venomous so no doubt that enabled me to see her as a sweety snake.

    As for Dr. Suess…I find myself wanting to read, for the thousandth time, “Wocket In My Pocket”. It makes me giggle. Sadly, my six year old has heard it so much,it now bores her. No more zugs under the rugs, gellars in the cellar, or bofas on the sofa for me. Sooooo sad. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Fox in Socks first and best, and Green Eggs and Ham second, to this day and my kids are teens. I know many snakes are nonpoisonous and much maligned, I actually like the constrictor variety (as long as I’m not their main squeeze). They’re beautiful in their own wild ways. I don’t like the venomous kind, I like the rodent eaters– outside.

    Regarding the metaphors the worst animals I’ve ever met looked very human. They just didn’t act like it.


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