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Anthony Hecht - Lizards And Snakes

On the summer road that ran by our front porch
        Lizards and snakes came out to sun.
It was hot as a stove out there, enough to scorch
        A buzzard's foot. Still, it was fun
To lie in the dust and spy on them. Near but remote,
        They snoozed in the carriage ruts, a smile
In the set of the jaw, a fierce pulse in the throat
Working away like Jack Doyle's after he'd run the mile.

Aunt Martha had an unfair prejudice
        Against them (as well as being cold
Toward bats.) She was pretty inflexible in this,
        Being a spinster and all, and old.
So we used to slip them into her knitting box.
        In the evening she'd bring in things to mend
And a nice surprise would slide out from under the socks.
It broadened her life, as Joe said. Joe was my friend.

But we never did it again after the day
        Of the big wind when you could hear the trees
Creak like rocking chairs. She was looking away
        Off, and kept saying, "Sweet Jesus, please
Don't let him near me. He's as like as twins.
        He can crack us like lice with his fingernail.
I can see him plain as a pikestaff. Look how he grins
And swings the scaly horror of his folded tail."

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 4691 times | Comments and analysis of Lizards And Snakes by Anthony Hecht Comments (1)

Lizards And Snakes - Comments and Information

Poet: Anthony Hecht
Poem: Lizards And Snakes
Poem of the Day: Jan 5 2012

Comment 1 of 1, added on May 6th, 2005 at 10:00 AM.

this is a great poem

josh from United States

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