"Cobra Rustle"

is not a Missouri dance,
I assure my friend.
But “auto-correct” uses words
you use regularly or in the past, doesn’t it?, she asks.
Apparently not.
Well, where would it get these words?

I give up and picture
a black and gold patterned snake
with hooded head,
forked tongue
testing the air for the scent of fear,
and turning its cold gaze on me.
I find a woven basket and lid,
sit cross legged and try to rustle it
into the basket by playing a pungi like a seasoned charmer
hypnotizing a snake.

I was only trying to write “congratulations”
to my newly engaged daughter
and thank her for including me in her life.
I hate snakes,
and being forgotten.

Nancy Jo Allen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband, Terry and their pup, Jayden. Her photos, fiction, and poetry are published in various journals included among them are Dime Show Review, Third Wednesday, Firewords, Common Ground, and, in the fall of 2020, I-70 Review.

See more of her work in 8.4 and 4.2, and the latter poem is also included in The Pocket Poems Anthology

Previous | Next