Twelve feet of serpentine muscle slither
across South American wetlands,
lying in wait for fish and baby caimans,
coiled, ready to pounce and mercilessly
constrict unsuspecting victims
under the blistering tropical sun.
The intense heat dries out its habitat
and even the anaconda must seek relief;
it is forced to slink through murky waters
which eventually evaporate
leaving only cracked clay cobblestones.
Body encrusted with dried mud,
scales lose their traction
rendering the snake immobile;
unable to escape, it slowly bakes.
The mighty anaconda heaves in agony,
reptilian head thrust backward,
gaping jaws raised towards the sky;
rage against its earthen prison
in a defunct river,
formerly a sustainer of life,
now a parched wasteland
where a once-mighty predator
falls prey to the elements.
FERN G. Z. CARR is a former lawyer, SPCA President and teacher. She composes and translates poetry in five languages. She has been published in the USA, Canada, Italy, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, India and Finland. Her work has been distributed in several other countries world-wide as well.