Snakes, Refugees and Winemakers along South Mountain Road


A wiff of Spring’s pollen tickles my nose,

Many storms ago, Crosby’s pool filled with leaves,

this year his grapevines are thicker than wrists,

his thumbs and pinkies measured sturdy reds.

The world of the 30s changed barns into homes;

In the 90s homes became castles along the Road.


Copperheads bite hikers, usually on

their hands and knees. The venom is weak

but the scream of surprise is the same.

The reptiles are disturbed as the warm

in the sun. So they strike and whip back into

the shade. Pity the child who trips over a snake.


Kurt Weill listens as Hungarian melodies

tingle in his head. He bathes in the sun

as his ears collect songs of yet another country,

music of cantors and rabbis, bawdy cabaret tunes,

dances of clowns and mystical children who pluck

invisible strings and pull doves from the air.