Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems II: Poems Selected & New 1976-1986 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987): 133.
1The snake hunts and sinews
2his way along and is not his own
3idea of viciousness. All he wants is
4a fast grab, with fur and a rapid
5pulse, so he can take that fluttering
6and make it him, do a transfusion.
7They say whip or rope about him, but this
8does not give the idea; nor
9phallus, which has no bones,
10kills nothing and cannot see.
11The snake sees red, like a hand held
12above sunburn. Zeroes in,
13which means, aims for the round egg
14with nothing in it but blood.
15If lucky, misses the blade
16slicing light just behind him.
17He's our idea of a bad time, we are his.
18I say he out of habit. It could be she.
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"She" © Margaret Atwood. Printed gratis, and specifically for <i>Representative Poetry Online</i>, with permission of the author. As published in <i>Selected Poems II</i> (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987). Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from Margaret Atwood.