The Imagined Copperhead
By Andrew Hudgins
Without intending to hide,
the imagined copperhead
hid on the path ahead,
unseen on bronze leaves, unheard,
and a mortal likelihood
at every step. This was childhood,
mine, the wood’s jihad
against a boy who’d
intruded among monkshood,
wasp, tick, and nettles haired
with needles. Scrub brush abhorred
him with a horde
of welts, bites, and stings, but he’d
never seen a copperhead,
though he’d looked hard
taking, as he’d been ordered, heed.
The snake wasn’t a falsehood,
though, to him. Dread
was his nature, and he hared
through sunlight and shade, head
swiveling for the copperhead
he’d begun to covet, the ballyhooed
killer a camouflaged godhead
on which his inborn faith cohered,
and his priesthood.
Tuesday was quiet, nice weather, I sent texts on behalf of Biden-Harris for National Voter Registration Day and watched the squirrels and chipmunks chase each other on the deck, plus some bluejays, a woodpecker, and some little yellow finches. We saw a murder (the crow variety) too, when we took a walk in the afternoon, plus deer, the cul-de-sac bunny, and a baby bunny in the yard two doors down that I'm not sure we've seen before, though it could be one of the ones from a different cul-de-sac showing up here.
My Voyager fan friends from over 20 years ago and I started our rewatch in the evening and that was huge fun -- we'd forgotten details from "Caretaker" and it's just awesome to be able to message through the whole thing with people I knew through the whole craziness of that era. I also saw the Nationals walk-off victory and some of the miserable Orioles-Red Sox game before I put on Due South because I could not stomach the news. These pics are mostly the baby copperhead from Black Hill Park, just so you're warned!