The wind slithers around the house,
hissing harshly like a snake
encircling the close-cornered mouse—
these cabin walls creak and shake.

The wind titters and coils among
naked flanks of swaying trees,
famished, flicking forth its forked tongue
to break branches as it please.

Soon the jaws spring to snap, to bite,
felling trees with such force
that the woods falls within the night
to hunger without remorse.

In the morning I see the skin
of the wind that passed last night,
rippling faintly, gossamer thin,
amidst deadfall at the site.

Leaves, branches, the snake’s shriveled skin,
all as one in repose,
strewn about the soundless cabin
as the storm comes to a close.

The snake is sluggish afterwards,
having eaten to its fill,
wallowing as the songs of birds
settle in the morning still.

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