Possible Power Metaphors

Looking through her own reflection
at a yellow patterned python,
a teenage girl asks why the snake
has not eaten a mouse companion
who, sitting on the snake’s head,
grooms her tiny arms.

Looking back, maybe seeing double
possibly through a reflection and the face that cast it,
the unblinking reptile considers projections of images and lights
on glass walls.

Something about the human,
mobility impaired, who gets out of bed
only to walk their little dog.

Something about the snake,
who catches the mice passing through,
but leaves her neighbours in their snug holes,
so that there will always be more mice
growing up and leaving home,
traveling between one life and the next.

Something about jury nullification,
always answering the court
with a decision but no explanation
except, maybe, trust?
Or the need to wait and see.

Terry Trowbridge’s poems have appeared in The New Quarterly, Carousel, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, untethered, Quail Bell, The Nashwaak Review, Orbis, Snakeskin Poetry, Literary Yard, M58, CV2, Brittle Star, Bombfire, American Mathematical Monthly, The Academy of Heart and Mind, Canadian Woman Studies, The Mathematical Intelligencer, The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, The Beatnik Cowboy, Borderless, Literary Veganism, and more. His lit crit has appeared in Ariel, British Columbia Review, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Episteme, Studies in Social Justice, Rampike, and The /t3mz/ Review. Terry is grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for his first writing grant, and their support of so many other writers during the polycrisis.