Poems and Poetry

An Expert in Reptiles | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

He saved money for years
to vacation in the Everglades
because he has degrees
in the study of reptiles.
He’s an expert at the zoo.

The Everglades, he knows,
is a heaven for reptiles
and he has seen some
only in a glass case
or dissected in a lab.

The first week was grand,
his guide making sure
he saw alligators and
crocodiles up close
but not too personal.
He would never forget
their eyes and nostrils
and the bubbles
around them.

One day he wandered
far from the group
looking for lizards.
A python dropped from
a tree and ate him
head first so it took
a couple of hours
to complete the meal.
He was 6 feet tall.

The good news is he will
never have to work again
and his parents won’t
have to pay for a funeral,
the digestive system of
a python being what it is.
But long ago they co-signed
for his college loans
so they will remember him
when payments are due.

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