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My thanks to Big T for allowing me to include this poem on Balsamic Vignette.

If you enjoy "It's just a snake" and would like to read more from Big T then try his poetry blog.

It's just a snake

June 2008 by Big T

This Morning.

Slithering in the jungle rain,
it strayed across concrete
laid by humans.
Empty bellied people with
little money to waste
and opportunistic eyes.
Pinned quickly by a pole,
it had no chance,
capture inevitable
and secured.
Thrust into a discarded
plastic water bottle,
a thirty three centiliter
reptile prison,
its head shaving
the moulded base
as it attempts to turn upon itself.
Middle girth restrained
by small opening,
pushed until
body length is almost
squeezed into captivity.
An angry writhing tail
is the last effort
of defiance.
Finally the cap is screwed
into place and
air holes are punctured
without thought,
a wound speckles red.
A slap on the back with smiles,
hints at an
unknown future
that will probably make
dinner, from a
Vietnamese viper.


Five hours have passed
since capture.
Staring eyes
from a triangular head
flick of the tongue
to taste the air.
Settled water tainted pink,
anger builds and
I feel fingernails
biting into my palm
I hesitate to interfere
guilt nags through my brain.
Cheap bravado,
from brown fingers
with dirty nails,
boosted by thin
plastic protection.
Cramped contortions
intertwining scales
as the creature's head
probes the cap
less disturbed than I am
by the tapping
and squeezing
from outside.
The bottle is tossed between,
and to the merriment of,
the tormentors
there is a limit,
I reach mine.
Bottle and snake belly flop
into an outstretched
If looks can kill,
I taste the dryness of my lips
as their eyes follow me,
tension hugs me
as stomach muscles
tighten and churn.

The snake's release
will come later,
in darkness,
and very, very carefully.
But I need to get away now
and wipe the sweat
oozing from my pores -
fear and jungle rain combined.