Volume 30, Number 3

Two Heads

Arkansas or was it Missouri,
this woman finds a two-headed snake!!
With exceptional presence of mind
she drops a bucket,
she scoops it up? them?
She finds someone who knows
which end is up.
Forked like a dowsing rod, 
two heads, one GI tract.
One head has the stronger jaw,
the other an eager esophagus.
Four eyes, a brace of snake-eyes,
stare ahead, bright as gold beads 
set in quilted scales.
You’d think the two heads might team up,
one to clamp, the other to swallow
for the good of their mutual belly,
but no, the two heads fight.
Those reptile brains cannot communicate.
Gotta be some metaphor in there,
but damned if I’ll be the one to say it out loud.

—Karen Greenbaum-Maya