May Swenson

(May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989 / Utah)

Sleeping With Boa


I show her how to put her arms around me,
but she’s much too small.
What’s worse, she doesn’t understand.
And
although she lies beside me, sticking
out her tongue, it’s herself she licks.


She likes my stroking hand.
And
even lets me kiss.
But at my demand:
“Now, do it to me, like this,”
she backs off with a hiss.


What’s in her little mind?
Jumping off the bed,
she shows me her behind,
but curls up on the rug instead.
I beg her to return. At first, she did,
then went and hid


under the covers. She’s playing with my feet!
“Oh, Boa, come back. Be sweet,
Lie against me here where I’m nice and warm.
Settle down. Don’t claw, don’t bite.
Stay with me tonight.”
Seeming to consent, she gives a little whine.


Her deep, deep pupils meet mine
with a look that holds a flood ...
But not my brand.
Not at all.
And,
what‘s worse, she’s much too small.

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

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