I have grown up with the grape vines,
tending to them when they drooped and
standing in the hot sun's path to keep them cool.
By the light of the September moon I would
give into temptation and dine, the grape's succulent
red juices running out of my mouth.

Then the serpent came.

She was plain and brown, something I ignored before
for what would a snake want with grapes?
Yet her eyes, the color of ginger, had set themselves
on my vines. I was so foolish not to notice but once a serpent
wraps itself around your work, your pride, it will

never let go.

I wept when I saw what it was doing to my vine—
teasing the grapes and making them blush purple.
Every night the serpent would drink her fill of
port while I watched in dismay.
My tears quenched my vine's thirst and the
serpent satisfied its hunger.

And one day

when I came to visit the grapes,
there was nothing left but a snake's trail in the dust
and shears next to the stumps of the vines.