I saw, each morning, 8 am, the man,
his German Shepherd walking. Rain or clear,
they trudged the desert trails. A snake came near.
My father froze, held leash tight. Nature’s plan
played out. The snake crawled slowly off the road
and sunned itself upon a nearby rock.
Then, walking on, recovered from the shock
of his encounter with a rattler, slowed,
and watched the road ahead and to the side.
He was not filled with fear or angst or dread,
but deserts offer warnings to be read.
You never know where rattlesnakes might hide.