That Old Rattlesnake Moment

She wriggles into her bedroll

snugbugrugged into rock-cleft

but still flouncey and haughty:

hero and heroine mutual attraction

hidden behind spitfire spats on a serpentine trail.

Then it happenss – 

                              sharpsssnakey maracas 


and in the very next frame

coiled rattler rears and glares shuddering ssspite.

She recoils and does the headlit rabbit pose.

Out comes his gun: unerring shot sparks dark,

instant bullet silencing rattle, deadly aim into sssleek head.

Woman and man fall into each other’s arms. Finally.

                                But –

many rattlesnake moments are not so glaring:

hmmm…war, lust, loneliness, drink or drug –

                                sharpsssnakey maracas


till in the very next frame eternal it’s she and he,

or he and he or she and she: all sssuccumb.

                                And –

rescue, even redemption, money, fear of self,

a conditioned head or a conditioned heart –

                                 sharpsssnakey maracas


Isss thisss the sssound of your rattlesssnake moment…?

 Ted Eames, 2018