• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 07

Snakes and Ladders

The other children said I was weird
Whenever we played snakes and ladders
They always wanted to climb
Climb up the ladders to win
But me, I preferred sliding down
Down pythons and down adders

They liked to land on square twenty-eight
And climb the ladder to eighty-four
But I preferred to land on eighty-seven
Greeted by the smiling python
Purple and yellow with sinuous body
Working my way down
Following each twist, each turn
Until I land on twenty-four

I trusted the serpent
The serpent was wise
The serpent gave knowledge and wisdom
Knowledge and wisdom to Eve and Adam

And often when I was alone
I played the game and
On my favourite eighty-seven
With my eyes closed
I traced the twists
Traced the turns
Opening my eyes in a different land


Snakes and Ladders

I’m riding a serpent
Not slimy, but dry and firm
I see others doing the same
And serpents with human faces
Those who have stayed too long
But I pass without effort
Between this world and that

And as I cling to my sinuous serpent
He whispers soft, sibilant, susurrations
Barely heard, but well understood
Passing on knowledge and wisdom
Maybe enough to write a poem