“The First Time Ever I….”

The year I was seven
I dipped my toe
Into a stream
And looked over my shoulder
To see if they
Were watching me.
They were.
I raised my foot
And placed it
On a solid rock.
I leaned down
And peered
Into the tangle of growth
Which lined
The hard-packed bank
Beneath my feet.
I held my body still
And soon
A forked tongue
Darted in and out
From the protection
Of the gnarled
And water-logged roots.
I waited patiently
Until a furtive striped body
Slipped from its hiding place
And passed
In front of me.
With one swift move
I grasped the icy-cold
Scale-covered reptile
Behind its head
And held it victoriously
To the sky.
I turned in triumph
To show my new friends
That I had done it!
I held that quivering
Squirming neurotic specimen
Just long enough to qualify
Then I tossed it
As far as I could.
I ran to the safety
Of the pack
And basked in the awe
Of the onlookers.
Back-slapped
Fist-bumped
Head-thumped
I was one of them.
I had been baptized
Christened
Kwanzaa’d
Bar mitzvahed
Consecrated as a hero
In the world
Of veteran snake handlers.
And to this day
I have never forgotten
The terror I faced
The horror I felt
The fear I experienced
The first time
That I wrapped
My unclad fingers
Around the body
Of a slimy, scaly
Sharp-toothed
Cloudy-eyed
Greenish, yellowish
Grayish
Electrically-charged
Garter snake.

(Inspired by ā€œPoetics: First Timesā€, dversepoets.com, September 15, 2012.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “The First Time Ever I….”

  1. Great poem on coming of age. I like the style it is written in. Tight and visual.

  2. brian miller says:

    garter snake…smile….but i tell you what at that age no matter what kind of snake…that is def scary….i been there…and i know just what you felt…great poem…took me back…

  3. billgncs says:

    really enjoyed this… how we fear being ostracized above all things.

  4. That is brave of you nevertheless….but also terrifying, whew, that was some experience ~

    And nice to meet you at D’verse ~

  5. claudia says:

    ha nice…we also had our tests if we’re brave enough to fit into a certain gang…ha…luckily we have no snakes where i live…just worms..smiles

  6. hobgoblin2011 says:

    of really nicely done. Just love the actions coming in multiples, adds such a cool vibe, great use of description as well. Thematically strong, a great addition to the interpretations of the prompt. So glad you chose to share this with us. Thank you.

  7. Smiles. Guess I haven’t come of age yet!

  8. beebeesworld says:

    nice work -Ive been on the computer for over a week=sick-then the cable got messed up, I had 977 messages piled u, so obviously I wont be able to do a lot-still not well-rough week. Hope you are doing well–beebeesworld

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