Sun rises on a brilliant Easter,
the trees are beginning to bud;
the light sifts through the bare branches
and falls like a radiant blanket
across a struggling grass.
A sweet gum grows
on the neighbor's yard --
a tall, neglected tree
with languid trumpet vines
growing up the side and wriggling
across the gray bark.
In the soft glimmer of morning light,
a snake crawls, and twists, and climbs
thirty feet into the tangled tree
to raid the nest of squirrel.
We see her chattering, squealing, jumping
from branch to branch, as the sleek snake
consumes her offspring.
After eating, the snake, which we dub
Larry the Lyre Snake, crawls back down the trunk
and spirits over the grass in minutes ---
lost in the underbrush, back to the lake.
The snake has descended.
The mother squirrel still jumps from limb to limb,
unable to accept such a tragedy.