That afternoon was
Sunny and a little bit warm.
I was dawdling and doddering looking at green things
Pulling up weeds
Teasing the soil
When I saw something move between the stones
A garden snake, scaled black and yellow
He had a small flat head and an honest-to-god forked tongue.
The next day digging in the dirt it was
Cold out but I wasn’t chilly
Because the sun was shining and I was hard at work.
I saw my snake again
This time on the other side of the path
In different rocks.
It slithered away, wouldn’t look me in the face.
Now I find myself searching for the snake everywhere
Calling to it in sibilant whispers
I have decided
It will be one of my spirit animals
Joining the possum, skunk and chipmunk in that role.
I am allowed to have multiple spirit animals
So long as they are small.