By Jane Blanchard

bites hard, again and again,
so sharply and frequently that
comparison fails.
A child’s ingratitude
is really no worse
than a parent’s indifference,
a sibling’s injustice,
or a spouse’s infidelity.
Each bite makes a similar impression
and causes much the same pain,
with only slight variations in venom.
One wound barely heals
before another appears,
as friends, colleagues, neighbors,
even complete strangers,
reveal reptilian tendencies.
In time, it is impossible to hide
the regular pattern of abuse.
Only the balm of Gilead
provides immediate relief
and gradually erases
all evidence of scarring.

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2 Responses to “The Serpent’s Tooth”


  1. […] REAL, RiverSedge, Thema, Time of Singing, Turtle Quarterly, Welter, and elsewhere. Read “The Serpent’s Tooth.” Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditEmailPrintDiggLinkedInLike […]

  2. Indy Says:

    That’s a creative answer to a diucffilt question


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