Rattlesnakes 1920 773 Trinity Herr

Our smallest hands pulled
rattlesnakes from the weeds.
They were infants like us.
Pads of our index fingers patted their doglike heads,
we laughed.
They hugged their bodies ‘round our wrists,
they pressed into our pulses.
We did not know they were rattlesnakes then.
My sister held the mason jar we gave them still
in her shaking hands. I raised a butterknife
and stabbed through last year’s marionberry 96
written in permanent ink.
The snakes stood open mouthed.
They spat on glass walls.

Header photograph © Andrew Hall.

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