What questions does a viper ask,
With silent slithers through the grass?
A gaping mouth of knives and fork,
It hopes to dine on things that walk.
Detected first in infra-red
A field mouse is up ahead,
Fixed in the gaze of lidless eyes
That measure out its swift demise.
A sudden strike.
The helpless prey,
Too poisoned now to dart away,
Is captured in a limbless hold.
A coiled trap
Of blood run cold.
With pulsing dislocated jaw
The snake devours fur and paw.
The skin is taut and scales stretched
to make room for the breathless wretch.
Content, at last, this bulging elf,
Has wrapped a present for itself.
Time to rest and shed old skin,
Ignoring twitches from within.
Intent to never be a shoe.
The viper grows,
And thinks of you.
© 1999 Gavin Miller. All rights reserved.