Religion was formal if nothing else.
In church, Adam and Eve were fully clothed.
Even the snake wore a tie.
It was Sunday and Sunday was never seen
It donned full cotton dresses
and quiet hats,
and best dark suits.
It drove through fields of farmerless corn
and cows with their heads lowered,
quietly chewing the grass
in ignorance of sin, death, salvation.
Sunday was this endless chaperon
when hormonal truths bit beneath the skin
or a truant officer
for kids feigning sicknesses
or hiding out in dark musty barns.
Sometimes it delivered sandwiches,
to the picnic fields of the Lord.
It played games at the edge
of the dark forbidden forest.
One day, a snake slithered out
of the undergrowth, without his tie,
with his head flat, tongue slithering,
in imitation of evil.
A man broke off from the crowd,
took a heavy stick and smashed
the reptile’s back.
It was not the last snake in her life
nor the last man to come.
Just the last man to come to that particular rescue.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.