Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

The Rattlesnake Dream

Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

The Rattlesnake Dream

Article excerpt

   The dream you had about the six-foot rattler    springing up at you past your head.... Image     come from the scene in Cather's My Antonia,    the text you just taught. Luckily, you woke     before it bit the fangs being on their way    down. It didn't destroy you-old black serpent     who took even Eve for her ride. Did it really    disappear when you woke? Where did it hide?     They say serpents can heal. See it as symbol.    It stood straight up on its legs. It had eyes,     an expression so terrible and maliciously human.    It would have struck you dead without your own     craftiness: you woke, spoke your mind to timeless    snake. Then you went about your actual day     carrying on your usual, good-evil way, choosing    the better one as much as you consciously could. 

Sybil Pittman Estess has published one book of poetry, Seeing the Desert Green (Latitudes Press, 1987). She is also co-editor of a critical book, Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art (1983). Her poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Paris Review, New Republic, Western Humanities' Review, Southern Poetry Review, and other journals. Estess was a founding organizer of the Houston Poetry Fest and is active in several other capacities in Texas arts organizations. Estess was born in Mississippi but has lived in Houston for the past twenty years. She currently teaches for Inprint, an extension of the Creative Writing Department of the University of Houston. …

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