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What the Snake Brings to the World by Lorna Crozier

Without the snake
there’d be no letter S
No forked tongue and toil,
no pain and no sin. No wonder
the snake’s without shoulders.
What could bear such a weight!

The snake’s responsible for everything
that slides and hisses, that moves
without feet or legs. The wind for example.
The sea in its long sweeps to shore and out again.

The snake has done some good, then.
Even sin to the ordinary man
brings its pleasures. And without
the letter S traced belly-wise
outside the gates of Eden
we’d have to live
with the singular of everything:
sparrow, ear, heartbeat,
mercy, truth.