Poem: Hunting Snake by Judith Wright

114

 

Hunting Snake

 

Judith Wright

 

 

Sun-warmed in this late season’s grace

under the autumn’s gentlest sky

we walked, and froze half-through a pace.

The great black snake went reeling by.

 

Head-down, tongue-flickering on the trail

he quested through the parting grass;

sun glazed his curves of diamond scale

and we lost breath to watch him pass.

 

What track he followed, what small food

fled living from his fierce intent,

we scarcely thought; still as we stood

our eyes went with him as he went.

 

Cold, dark and splendid he was gone

into the grass that hid his prey.

We took a deeper breath of day,

looked at each other, and went on.

 

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