Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Twelve – Ballad of the Rattlesnake

In order to read this here ballad y’all are gonna hafta git a good old south kinda sound goin’ in yer head.  Feel the rhythm of it, c’mon and swing yer partner, do-si-do. 

Day 12 of the 28 Days of Unreason, Jim Harrison’s line from Songs of Unreason is:

“The beauty of the rattlesnake is in its threat”

My quasi-poetic response is this here Ballad of the Rattlesnake which ain’t a true ballad in the poetry sense of the word; but never you mind that.

The beauty of the rattlesnake is in its threat
been bitten twice, ain’t dead yet
been bitten twice, ain’t dead yet

Went down south to see my Paw
plays in a jug band, Granny plays the saw
plays in a jug band, Granny plays the saw

Took my lovin’ sweetheart for to meet my kin
married in the church house for his heart to win
married in the church house for his heart to win

Rattlesnake she came a witness for to be
struck me on the ankle, turned around to see
then struck me with heart sting, turned around to  flee

The band was all there playin’ their music just for me
Granny wields a wicked saw and now that snake is three
Granny wields a wicked saw and now that snake is three

© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved

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Author:

A wild soul writing poetry & fiction while teaching high school literature, all with a camera in tow.

8 thoughts on “Day Twelve – Ballad of the Rattlesnake

  1. First of all, great fun. Second, slides some nice complexity in at the end under the veneer of simplicity. Lots of provocative ambiguity about this snake! Especially that very last bit “and now that snake is three”. I can go two different ways — this is the third bite (after the two prior non-fatal ones) and you are dead or will be shortly. OR these two bites of the snake *are* the original, non-fatal ones, and the snake is (ahem) sexual in nature, and you have a three-year-old baby in tow. Happy if some or none of that is right, the good thing is it made me want to look at the lines more closely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I dig where your mind took this – that makes it complete and completely funny! Yes, it is all of the above and more. You could go Biblical – snake strikes heel/trinity hinted at. You could say that Granny swung twice and cut the snake in 3 parts. Maybe the snake, as a witness, is the maid of honor and she stole the groom…

      Like

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