Poem: "Blue Boa" by Pamela Harrison
All morning as I grade papers,
the pair of bananaquits nesting
in the bougainvillea’s latticed leaves
squabble and squawk.
Sudden quiet, then a knock
on the kitchen door announces Jomo,
the cinnamon bark salesman who
wraps his wares in a dusty towel.
We bargain, I buy enough for the year.
Jomo lingers shyly, then begs to say
we “have a Serpent.” (Not a snake.
The snake was that green lover’s knot
we found sleeping in the corner
of our sunny room.) Jomo says, “It is
a Serpent. A Serpent from the Garden.
It is not shy. It will not go away.”
Guiding me round to our own front door,
Jomo points to a five-foot boa lounging
like a pasha in the scarlet bower.
I regard the bulges in its sleepy length:
two hearts snug in the welcome of its love.
From Glory Bush and Green Banana (Turning Point, 2017)
Pamela Harrison reads Blue Boa