A golf club,
I thought forgotten in the grass,
stopping me in my tracks.

A desert mistress appeared silently,
a flicker of light glinting off her scaly back.
She lay basking in the long, green golf course grass,
hidden off the fertilized fairway,
near a perfectly groomed sand trap.

My approach interrupted
her warm, sunny toasting reverie.
Momentarily our two worlds merged,
each assessing the other.

She had a strange beauty,
my curiosity piqued.
Dusty gray-brown skin hosted
mingling stripes, evolving to a distinctive
diamond shape marking, that ended with
a tail rattle held high.

She did not hiss or flick her rattle;
did not coil to strike.
She slithered and wound away,
slowly disappearing,
desert sand camouflage completely
absorbing her patterned body.

Tiny vibrations
were left in her wake,
flickering at my heart.


She startled the afternoon when she strode purposefully into the quiet room.
Flaming red hair, harbinger of her lively essence, tucked casually under a black
wool tuque, low ponytail forgotten. The bright blaze down her back begged
indifference but the exceptional color could not escape notice.
Camouflage pants spilled into bright orange boots, oozing with youthful confidence.
She approached with laidback ease.
Her white teeth, one near the front slightly overlapping another,
satisfied her broad smile.
Loud boisterous laughter rolled from her lips, smacked with a mischievous air.
Her lighthearted presence filled the room.

And I saw what others could not.
Youth choosing life. While her cells waged a battle of their own deep inside,
one destroying another.