St. Patrick herds the snakes
like slithering sheep: catching at them
with crozier efficient as a shepherd’s crook.
no lass of Holy Ireland,
shall be seduced by sibilant subversion
forked tongue flicking
at the end of a rainbow rope
dangling by an apple
dappled with sunlight;
no, Ireland will remain
an emerald Eden
as it was in the beginning
until the end of time.
Poem copyright 2013 by Faire Lewis.
I was heartbroken when I found out there apparently never were any snakes in Ireland to begin with–
In any case, this poem is inspired by a long-ago St. Patrick’s Day card similar to, but not exactly like, the second image of the good saint–born a Romanized Briton, not an Irishman–driving the snakes away in an aged jalopy. On that card, he was telling one snake with a Pat, I gotta go! look on on its face Ye shoulda thought o’ that b’fore we left!