D. H. Lawrence was a Better Man

Written by: Ray Dillard

D. H. Lawrence was a Better Man

I read about his snake 
And was quite impressed with the 
Alliteration and symbolism he used
To express that moment 
As they met at the “stone trough.”
I appreciated his struggle with
The voice of his education which told him to
“Take a stick and break him now, 
    and finish him off.”

I too have faced the snake
And made a decision not so “perverse”… 
    or “cowardly”…or “honorable”.

The rattler was long and sleek 
And glistened in her new skin.
I found her waiting in my tracks
As I  returned across the field.
There was a moment as she flicked her tongue,
That I stood and gazed upon her, 
Knowing what D.H. had felt.
Why was she there… and 
How was it that we should meet?
My admiration was brief…
Shovel in hand…I struck her down. 

It was the voice of my father 
That said she must die…
“And truly I was afraid…”
Surely she would have struck me
Had I not seen her first.

And yet I questioned my decision…
Was it “paltry” and “vulgar…a mean act?”

I too shall think of the albatross…
And yet be watchful for the snake…
Again there will be a decision to make…

Having felt his “pettiness”…still I know…
D. H. Lawrence was a better man.