Saturday, December 21, 2019

Fluttering Bones of the Fireless Serpent

by Bacopa Literary Review 2019 Creative Nonfiction contributor Blake Kilgore

The school where I teach (Pond Road Middle) is surrounded by creeks and marsh. This makes it a prime stopover for migrating geese each year. I try to get my class outdoors as much as weather and instruction allow and also frequently eat my lunch in the fresh air. During one of these excursions alone I had the particular experience described in my piece "Fluttering Bones of the Fireless Serpent."

It was a sensory marvel, one of those moments that leave you breathless, like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, or rising above the clouds climbing your way to a mountain peak summit. I wanted to remember, so I tried my best to cast that memory in writing. The result is this non-fiction prose poem that I hope you'll enjoy.

Truly awed by both victim and hunter, I found it odd that my presence was more alarming than that of the hawks. I was thinking about stragglers and weaklings, and how they would soon die despite following the leadership of the group, which is sad, but part of the cycle of life.

During the writing process, I reflected on the political climate, with its tendency toward extremes, each side seeing itself as victim of the ravenous designs of the other. An independent, I dialogue with friends on both sides of the debate. In these discussions, I am too frequently labelled enemy or traitor, simply because of my effort to retain dialogue with all amidst the storm, and this saddens me. If we continue to communicate, we have a chance. I hope we'll find a way. Thanks for reading!

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Blake Kilgore lives in New Jersey with his wife and four sons, where he's just commenced his twentieth year teaching history to junior high students. You can find some of his stories in Lunch Ticket, Rathalla Review, Midway Journal, and many others. Please visit to find more of Blake's prose and poetry.

Read Blake Kilgore's piece (p. 6) and other works
in Bacopa Literary Review 2019 (Print Edition or Digital Format).