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The new owners call them
virgin--their four acres


of desert--soon deflowered
by bulldozers, jackhammers


and posts driven in. A rattle
snake wanders in, not aware


he has been evicted
after a few million years.


Though he has no brows
I would swear he reared up


and raised them--a snake
afflicted with perplexity.


What has become here
of home? A call is put in


for the exterminator,
who has already dealt


with the cougar, coyote,
mountain lion, javelina


and quail. The wife dreams
of herself as Eve


in a garden, a snake
crawling near, wrapping


around her. His face
bears a resembance to Satan.


She wakes her husband
to tell him.

(c) 2009 by David Ray


"Four Acres" appears in The Anthology of New England Writers 2004 as an Editor's Choice.