Grant Clauser

A snake left its skin on the patio
between a pot of new lavender and another
of thyme not yet grown enough for clipping.
When it’s time to shed, a shadow covers
the snake’s eyes till the only sense that works
is scent, the forked tongue feeling its way forward.
Late night rain glued the skin to the lavender pot
which tells me the snake dragged itself
across our concrete in the evening, maybe even
while we rocked in the chair swing watching
the sun slide behind the neighbor’s oaks,
the snake not knowing we were there.
As light leaked from the day,
a few yellow puddles lingered
evaporating finally in shadows,
and about then the snake,
probably shiny and slick with scales’
first exposure to air, eyes freshly bright
slipped into the garden
leaving its crumpled molt the way
we turn in for the night, leaving the day
and all its stickiness behind.
If only it were that easy, to rise shiny
from sheets in the morning, our skin
unscarred with regrets, and walk
into a garden, our backs warming
under a bright sun, our eyes seeing
finally what’s there.