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The Snake's Complaint

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Below is the poem entitled The Snake's Complaint which was written by poet Irene Hammer-McLaughlin. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Snake's Complaint

You may wonder why I went after Eve.
Let’s face it: That was a big mistake.
At nun-time, attuned to the earth,
paradise on earth was mine…still I wanted more. 
So, I pulled myself up, joined with Re, and got heaven, too.

That should have done it: got creative, worked, achieved, 
partnered, advanced… merited a little reputation even.
But some revisionist considering the Egyptian myth
merely an approximation of happiness, and therefore
out of character, went with a more ambitious agenda 

(Give me more!) and altered the script. Red lined and marginally 
questioned for review, it seemed to call to me.
Beckoned for attention. Not one to settle for mediocrity,
I took on the challenge, of a vastly improved edition –
sought standing… and slipped.

Guess I misinterpreted the signs, didn’t understand that the 
surface itch might have been only for another version of me. 
A newer skin would feel so much more gratifying
than contracting myself around some same-species body.

It was and remains within me a discomfort in my being
a slow rise to the surface of squirm, a need to slither
from the source. Uncomfortable. Annoyed with the lack of 
consultation, nothing I would have ever turned 
down or dismissed – I just wish I had been in the loop.

She has separated from me already. 
My leaving the scene would only be
the physical manifestation, like the itch, 
a physical manifestation of discomfort
tangible to the one who feels it.

But, you can’t feel it, can you?
On the surface it appears calm,
but my skin burns for wanting, an escape.
Can you shed your own skin? 

I slinked up with it at all because of the promise of youth sleeping 
soundly in the garden, with no itch to complain of. No reason.

Still she will leave slivering down her own trail
then even a new skin wouldn’t hide the tells of an old mind: 
a new wrinkle in the scenario.
I’m getting old, the casing’s flaking off,
and I’m just itching to get out of here.
So what’s with the ironic punishment? 
God, He just evolved me from my fingers!

What a card, dealt summarily;
destined to tingle and unable to scratch.
You’ve been dismissed. So, let us give thanks to god. (Amen?)

How’d you like to be in the serpent’s shoes? 
Just some extra muscles running down a semblance of a spine,
Perhaps it’s evil to hold out apples like promises. (Give me more!)
Built to entice. Destined to disappoint.

If there’s one thing to be said in my own defense: I am flexible.

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  1. Date: 3/6/2009 8:31:00 PM
    this is brilliant :) darkly humorous and very inventive. great work! i'm making this a fave