By Susan Jarvis

Coiled upon the flinty ground—
A fiend of scaly skin.
Goosebumps spread. I hear the sound
Of terror pound within
Just as glamor strikes my eye;
Its checker-patterned draw
Is treasure that invokes a sigh—
My fear begins to thaw.

Awe melts the fool who saw a ghoul
(A horror to abhor)
When witnessing a graceful jewel
Adorning my drab floor.
The russet eyes and olive head
Are flairs of fine design;
This pretty reptile’s quelled my dread—
This phobia of mine

Is laid to long-awaited rest.
A garter snake is proof
That my abode is often blessed
From basement to the roof,
And then beyond to pondlife bliss
Where un-kissed caudates dwell;
Where once upon a croak or hiss
I used to run like hell.

Though remedy is not complete;
There is one final battle.
I’ll know I’ve got this torment beat
When unfazed by a rattle…
But only if my camera zoom
Grants the gift of distance,
And brings me to the beastie’s bloom
Sans shivers of resistance.

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