by C.A. Shoultz
A serpent in the desert turned his head
To gaze upon me as I made my way
Across the barren redness of the land,
Whose vast horizon spread before my eyes.
I stopped and saw the serpent coiled there
Upon the rock of alabaster white.
His own colors were a dull yellow, such
That he to me seemed much more bronze than gold.
From my safe vantage point I watched him move.
He coiled and he stretched a bit, but still
Did not make motions to forsake his perch.
I did not understand the way he sat.
But finally he flexed, and at his jaw
I saw some film of gossamer come free.
And then he started moving, slith’ring down
Along the roughest edges of the rock.
As he came down his skin came more undone,
Until it loosened swiftly from his hide.
And yet he kept on moving, down a trail
Which led into the bends of canyons vast.
I followed him, though on my phone’s bright screen
My map program told me my way was wrong.
He led me through a cavern, red and dark,
With slits of sunlight dappling on the path.
At last we emerged back into the sun,
And to my wonder I saw light and life.
There was a river there, with water fresh,
And brilliant flowers blooming on its banks.
The serpent had at last shed his old skin.
He coiled on a new rock, slick and fresh.
I turned my gaze along the water’s path
And saw it leading towards a city great.
I thanked the serpent, and I journeyed on.
C.A. Shoultz – I am a poet, writer, philosopher, critic, and lay theologian, currently residing in Dallas, Texas. I graduated from Baylor University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Great Texts of the Western Tradition, and am currently enrolled in the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts at the University of Dallas, where I am earning a Master of Arts in English Literature.