George Velonias

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

Smells of sausage and fried potatoes filled my nose
As if they were being held out in front of my bike
I rode home hastily with the warm bread in my hand
The warm sun of midday Greece seemed to bake the clay soil
Hardening it into fresh new pottery
The sensation of the sun’s rays on my skin were so strong
I felt as though someone was holding a hot candle up close to the back of my neck
The intensity of the sun’s brightness flooded in from all directions
As I followed the dirt road from the town back to my house
The sweltering heat blurring the horizon
My bike skidded to a stop as my eye caught the slightest of movements
The snake, glaring, stuck out its hideous tongue
I dismounted my bike and picked up a large stick
As I prepared to banish my least favorite of all creatures
I stopped and thought first
Hypnotized by its beady eyes
The disgusting shape of its body especially its writhing movements
The expression of its cruel façade reminding me of its deadly tactics
All the terrible things it could do, but hadn’t, came to mind
But why hesitate?
It played a dirty but vital role in the world
Located nowhere near my or anyone’s house it was no real threat
(but to the local mice)
In the end I found the snake guilty and awarded it the death penalty


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.