Opening the barbecue for cleaning,
removing the grill and bars,
I see you coiled in the base.
The light and sound disturb your rest
And you slowly uncoil,
Your small head leading,
Forked tongue flickering.
Your long sleek body is grey with brown
Hourglass patterns.
As I approach you with a broom handle,
Primal fear arises from my belly.
I’ve read reports of your kind here in the ‘burbs
And pause to take a photo and check the Web.
The hourglass skin is your distinctive feature,
Confirming my fear.
The recommended approach:
Stand clear and let you leave.
Unique among venomous snakes,
You strike without warning,
Using sensitive heat sensors beneath your eyes
To detect movement.
Sobered, I stay clear for an hour.
Returning outside, I see no sign of you,
Though your acrid pissy smell
Pervades the patio for days.

John Bayerl

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