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On Seeing a Green Racer
Grace Hughes Chappell

Frogs, deer, toads, rattlers,
dogs, anyone may employ
the byway of this lane.

August thirteen, 04,
tall grass, hot, dry, now I am
there, sun at my back,

walking-thinking snake-
words: serpents, adders, slith’ring
asps, their beauty marks,
When … hey! You there! You,
you, whip-like Elegance, your
tongue crimsonly cogitating!
Not for you a rattler’s
intricacies of concealment:
To strike/not to strike.
You, green Paragon
of Length—you, moving Mark of

I’ll wait here for you.
“Please, you, go first. After you—
I’m in no hurry.”

© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author’s permission.



Grace Hughes Chappell lives in San Francisco. She and her husband  also tend a garden and apple orchard in Mendocino County, California. She’s had work published in the Sunday SF Chronicle, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, theRichmond ReView, Short Fiction by Women, and various others.


Post New Comment:
Alice Rosenthal:
Holds you still to capture the rich intimacies of the moment. Fresh and wonderful imagery. This is how to love a piece of the earth. Alice Rosenthal
Posted 08/14/2013 12:51 PM
I can relate! Good poem, too.
Posted 08/13/2013 11:57 AM
Fresh language. Love it.
Posted 08/13/2013 09:31 AM

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