Glass Poetry Press

Volume Two Issue Two

Doug Ramspeck

Snake Goddess

I brought home the Snake Goddess to meet my parents. I should explain that my parents were fairly conventional types who ran a Cinnabon at the local mall. My mother kept a family of click beetles as pets in her apron pocket, and my father had recently had a rather painful case of shingles, which gives you a pretty good idea of how they responded when a bare-breasted goddess — one, it should be noted, with a small cat atop her head and a poisonous snake in each hand — appeared at our suburban door. Over dinner we discussed ancient symbols of the afterlife and of fertility and of death, and then the Snake Goddess told an amusing story of how her mother had been impregnated by spilled seed raining from the ancient Mediterranean sky, and afterwards we sat in the family room, played Canasta, and discussed the prevalence of incest, fratricide, and castration in Minoan-era myths. My father had been in the military as a young man, stationed in Georgia, so he took a more open-minded view of the Snake Goddess than my mother, who kept eyeing the wriggling snakes and asking nervously whether they ate insects as well as rodents. Later that night my mother insisted on separate bedrooms — what, after all, would the neighbors think if they found out that her unmarried son had shared his boyhood room with the Snake Goddess? — but after midnight I sneaked her in anyway to show her my Little League trophies. To tell the truth, one thing led to another, and somehow the snakes and even the cat got loose, and soon there was quite the uproar and even a quick trip to the Emergency Room, but in any case my mother finally came around. Mothers always do. Even my father's shingles got better.