Over the years, I’ve had experiences with all sorts of animals, big and small. Some encounters were hands on, others were just observed from a distance. Through this blog I will be focusing in on specific animals, and my adventures with them. My name is Hayden Cohee, and this is Animalia.
I love snakes. The power and fear that they strike into so many people is incredible. They are so sly, so fascinating, and so so terrifying. The copperhead snake is the most common venomous snake in this region, and I’ve only come up close and personal with them on a few occasions. When I was eight, my dad stepped on one, and I pulled him back before it struck him. Years later, I was hiking by myself, and I came eye-to-eye with the serpent. This is a little poem of that occasion.
The copper skull
Rusts upon the burning coals
Of connoquenessing sandstone.
Poison pockets sag on the side of its cheeks
As the rocket-shaped beast
Adjusts to where it can seek more heat.
I lurk up close, out of sight.
A complete stranger, but not
One to fight.
I admire the diamond pattern
Reverberating from the skull.
I watch as the body coils into a ball,
Only to creep closer and fall.
The snake shivers and quakes
As I regain my footing.
It still has not scurried, which
I found a bit off-putting.
But regardless, he was no monster.
We met eye to eye, a beast and its prey.
Both fearing one another,
But not after today.
He meandered off into the brush, eventually settling under the hot rock it once sat atop.
And I continued on my way.
Hayden Cohee ’18 || Lit Staff