With heedless stroke I drew the razorís edge
along the scaly belly of the beast
that once had languished, twisting, on a ledge,
meandrous, convoluted, now deceased.
Then grasping firm the creatureís empennage
I desquamated its integument
as one would strip a grill-bent fowl's plumage;
I'd peeled the sheath till flesh was evident.
The serpent, once a vital, writhing whip,
now dangled, flaccid, limp, bereft of form.
How arrant, stark; undone Godís craftsmanship!
Such butchery should never be the norm.
Within me pangs of penitence pulsate;
I vow this sin henceforth to abnegate.
Emery L. Campbell