Safety

An older boy
the typical villain of youth
red-headed, pale-skinned, armpit hair
smokes rolled in his sleeve
and the devil’s blue eyes
between thumb and forefinger
he dangled a skinny green snake
caught slithering through the lawn
a slender live wire lost
too far from the safety of tall grass fields
his family cat
stared at the snake
transfixed as if by a hypnotist’s watch
but it wasn’t slowly getting sleepy
the thing was torqued for murder
and I felt that it and the boy
were one
a young warlock and his ginger feline familiar
a clawed-paw swung
batted the inverted viper’s skull
it swung like a pendulum
scaled muscles flexing, curling upward
desperate to dodge the next blow
as the razors extended
swiped again
opening two ribbon slashes of red
shredded green skin
emerald weeping ruby in sunshine
I demanded he desist
as I tossed the vicious tom aside
“Hey!” the wicked witch shouted
as I
like a cat, like a snake
coiled, poised to strike, unleashed my fist
smashing it weakly but effectively into his schnoz
serpent’s blood, man’s blood, hissing cat
I ran as he lunged for me
like a cat, like a snake
across lawn, over-chain link
and into the safety of tall grass fields I fled
as the evil one called after me and laughed
“Be seeing you soon neighbor!”

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