The River Dreams of Nancy*
As you slide over these lines dear reader or as they slide over you a fox snake Mintomius vulpinus carries a new memory of skin. This liqueous serpent (the river takes reptilian Mind) slid-slithered over my palms and those of my friends we let our lovely squamate tongue-taste flick and lick surely her first humans an oddly-scented species neither predator nor prey at least not we. One calms a snake with open hands (as one might balance a puppy or pizza) and she being a water-spirit we completed our devotions then slipped her into riverine undulations once more to consider a cricket-frog or wet mouse, unaware of her smooth lingerings I can feel her right now. It was Nancy’s first snake and sweetly so to dream and the river’s first Nancy, tonight.
*Prose poem by Jack Phillips (for Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez). What? Another poem? Poetry is that most liqueous way of speaking that tunes us to the creative generativity of the cosmos and is really good for river walking. For best results, remove your shoes. Top: fox snake on the Kickatuus River in late September, photo by Keith Lucas. Bottom: a new hatchling snapping turtle on the Autumnal Equinox. Photo by Cubby Phillips.