I slink under shelter of log rot,
leaf pile & bog. Hide my showy
red & yellow stripes under the quarter
moon. I am barely visible, a muted

skittering. Mistaken for the deadly
coral, I mock danger. I do not tote
venom. I bamboozle you, graceless
human, with the scarlet spoon

of my head. I spritz putrid
musk to make certain you keep
your distance. But hear me clumsy
human. I am generous; I care

about your collapse. While I nosh
on rattlesnake & cottonmouth
to protect you from their swift & deadly
stabs, you throw no festivals

for me, your serpent bright
& benign. Where is my jubilant scarlet
snake wingding? My non-toxic jamboree?
I swear to you my snake heart is pure.