14 February, 2011Issue 15.3Creative WritingOriginal Poetry

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Snake in the Cosmos

Janet Remmington

This was an emergency. Like the time
Grace, who cleaned the holiday cottages,
was thrown into labour at Christmas.
Or when her drunk husband carried
his leaking arm and slashed bottle
to our door; when Lily’s friend was pulled
from the stormwater pipe with egg-white eyes.
The hunt was on and the heat
made the mown grass stink. We raked
the patchy lawns with our stares
and circled the pines that were purple
underneath. The rough sky scraped
the top of the trees like grey sandpaper,
but the tips were so pointy they made holes
in heaven. So the serpent got up on high,
escaped to the other side. Started
spitting. Hissing through jowls.
Laughing jerky thunder. And struck.
Lighting the eye of Ron’s rifle
for a sec. Devouring Ron, leaving a stick.

Janet Remmington graduated in 2009 with an MSc in African Studies from St Cross College, Oxford.

“Snake in the Cosmos” was chosen winner of the third annual Oxonian Review Poetry Competition by Jane Draycott. The shortlisted poems have been published in ORbits.