Few things have stuck me

As laugh-out loud hilarious

As a scene my mom listed

As her least favorite, scariest.

She was sitting in our house

Really just the basement

Because the former owners

Hadn’t built the upstairs yet.

She was talking on the telephone

With her best friend Claudine

When she looked over and saw

The scariest thing she’d ever seen.

A skunk came up through the drain

And wandered around the kitchen

And that is how the episode

With the striped vermin began.

Mom let out a little teeny peep,

Jumped onto the back of the couch

And there fiercely whispered

Hunched over in a crouch

Holding her volume down

When she wanted to scream

Quiet hollering her terror

To the distant Claudine.

Finally the skunk went out

After finding nothing to eat

And Mom came down to earth

Off her upholstered back seat.

I got some anger from her,

I was laughing at the time

When I asked her if maybe

She thought skunks couldn’t climb.

She didn’t appreciate much

My brand of teary-eyed glee.

She slapped me once and then

She stopped talking to me.

So, I am sure Mom thought

That’s the worst things can get

When shortly thereafter that

Came the worst one yet.


We were all watching television

One of our favorite shows,

When Mom interrupted it;

A screeching wail arose.

She flew out of the bathroom

Pants at half mast.

I had never seen Mom move

Quite so amazingly fast.

Later I measured the space

Between the wall and the door

She had more body than room

Which she chose to ignore.

She bolted right past that

Most narrow of spaces

To scream ‘Snake, snake, snake!”

Into our astonished faces.

We kids just sat there, but

Dad got up with a smirk.

When he saw the snake

He slowly started to work.

Mom was back on the couch,

Yes, up on the back.

Dad went into the bathroom

And began his careful attack.

He had gone and got vise-grips

His favorite tool back then

And captured the serpent

He showed Mom and then

Her volume went much higher

She screamed “Take it outside”.

Dad said “It’s a king snake.”

“I don’t care!” she cried.

Dad didn’t see it that way,

Rather perversely it seemed

He balanced the vice-grips

While Mom sat and screamed.

He hung the snake off the grips

Hanging over the countertop.

Mom ran outside and soon

We heard something drop.

That snake had snapped open

The grips when it wriggled.

Dad recaptured it quickly

While the boys and I giggled.

He finally took the snake

Out to our big back yard.

But getting Mom back in the house

Was extremely hard.

I don’t think she ever trusted

Our jokester Dad after that.

And she always looked around

Warily whenever she sat.


Brent Kincaid






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