A cobra, ever on display, complains

Madeline reclining, 14 March 2018, watercolor by William Eaton - 2Poem inspired, at least in part, by a visit to the Bronx Zoo

My mother me and siblings warned,
It could be hard to find a mate.
An argument easy to make –
The sharp of tongue: often lovelorn.

Another snake and I now share
A little box with stale décor.
Her moods and skin they make me sore.
She says my kiss it lacks that flare.

Love under rocks is hard enough.
The people peering: more than creepy.
In marriage there’s no privacy?
We cozy up and some kid squawks.

And where’s the chance to chew the rat,
With friends by life also confined?
Often to sleep I am resigned,
Mid odors sweet – my beloved’s scat.

Zoos’ beasts of prey: defanged, declawed.
As for affairs: who even dares?
A keeper’s touch may land just where
It would be nice an adder bawd’s.

Spray toads nearby I’ve tried to woo,
O forked of tongue this Pyramus –
Such lovely lunches I hate to miss.
One little hole, and they’d be screwed.

No room for me and too much time:
Love comes to this before it ends?
If flowers she-snakes ever send,
With them I’d welcome some quicklime.
— Poem and drawing by William Eaton
This is the first Montaigbakhtinian posting of a growing series of animal poems. More to come.

∩ As regards the toads, this from Tiny Toads: Back to Tanzania, by Avishai Shuter, April 25, 2017: Kihansi spray toads, small amphibians, barely the size of a coin, are only native to the wetlands located at the bottom of the Kihansi Falls in Tanzania. They were declared extinct in the wild in 2005 after their habitat was severely altered. The Bronx Zoo has been maintaining an assurance colony since 2000, and has been actively contributing animals to reintroduction efforts in Tanzania since 2012.

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