Slowly slides the anaconda,
through the thicket, through the grass,
like a rope of murky glass,
ochre and opaque and glinting,
like a river without name,
or a mountain-range in motion,
powered by a hidden flame.
Such a swerving, sparkling serpent
is the history of man,
each millennium of suffering
but a patch or pattern’s span
and each life of toil and longing
but a gold-rimmed muddy scale,
heaving, weaving through the jungle,
seeing neither head nor tail.
Christina Egan © 2015
The Tower of Jericho, around 9,000 years old. Photograph:
Reinhard Dietrich (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons.