Skink!

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skinkI saw a skink yesterday. Twice! A five-lined skink, to be specific. It was hanging out in the sun on the sidewalk beside the retaining wall around the church yard next door. There are little holes at the bottom of the wall for drainage and it was half in and half out of one of the holes. I thought at first it might be dead, but when I came out the second time, it finally scurried back into his hole.

How many people walked by and didn’t see it there? How many times have I walked by and not seen it? I don’t want to read too much into the incident of the skink, but seeing it seems important. A reward. An omen. A gift for an April afternoon.

Skink

BY RODNEY JONES

Gram of mania, animated pepper,
shadow-monger dressed in panic,
monitor of  ghostly footfalls,
it concentrates in its essential tic
the frog leg dropped into oil
and the human shock at the verge.
If  it would stop and let me look,
I might imagine the tropic
where it hangs in a hammock
between two popsicle sticks
admiring the iguana’s stealth,
but it does not stop. Hawk-
dodger, crow-pretzel, gallows’
twitch. Spider-shark. Porter
of  readiness, miller of  the
steady shudder, peripatetic
rectitude, run by the power
of   the sunlit rock, it fortifies
Darwin and the idea of   being late
and the missed appointment.
With its blue tail, it reminds us:
it will go on. It will not stop.

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