What God Says To All Those Snakes... - Poem by RIC BASTASA

this afternoon some snakes come into the house
(literally not those snakes with slimy skin
and without feet)
for there are snakes that walk like real people
complete with heads and
other usual parts like the way your friends look like
when you dine
and you pay
when they tell you stories and you listen
and you know
that these are all not true
but because of respect you nod just the same
and say, ok, ok, i agree

this afternoon these snakes come to the house
and we had coffee and biscuits
the usual afternoon talk and bonding
i may not have changed, but they do not know that there is also the fox in me
but still considerate and forgiving and patient and kind
all giving

they ask for rice and viand
and they talk about their undeserved poverty
and without questions
i give them what they ask and pray for
no harm
nothing big for such a kind man like me
i am not an angry man
my hands are open, my fingers are spread
like tributaries from the rivers to the seas

sometimes my fingers ache for these friends are snakes and they all
love to bite
blood flows from my tips
and the carpet gets stained

but i am not an angry man
and i am as patient as ten spiders webbing from one wall to the other
well, normal as i am
i get fed up sometimes and tempted to shout and drive them away
but i look to the sky
and talk to my God and then i begin to ask silently
all those questions
how to deal with snakes
and God says: 'my son, these snakes are your brothers and sisters
feed them well, please me
for i am the owner of the sea and the land and the sky
yours is but a coin
a patch, an atom
and so negligible

in fact, my son, you own nothing, you only manage what i own
and give you
feed them all, make them comfortable
do not argue, do not say a dirty word
look at me, they bit me too
but did i say a word? you haven't heard me
for like you, snake or man or god
you are all my children....

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 19, 2011

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