Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

A brush with death


Gliding out of my boot you came
and I stood thunderstruck as if lame
while you slithered out

pitch black with ridged scales
and light rings around your neck
and I waited for you to strike

facing death with white gleaming fangs,
seeing you uncoil and hypnotized
rather by common sense than fear,

seeing your forked tongue
testing the air
and the hair on my bare arms rise.

Any movement would make you strike
or spit or both in quick succession
and I waited there
while you sailed away

and sometimes cursing
and blessing that day
as you kept me
from stepping on a landmine
which I spotted gleaming
where you brushed some sand away.

Submitted: Friday, May 07, 2010
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  • Roseann Shawiak (12/18/2013 12:59:00 AM)

    I love your imagery and expression. Especially liked the last stanza, it was a landmine. Great poem, I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing it. RoseAnn (Report) Reply

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