Breakfast with a Black Snake

All we have
is circumstantial evidence.
A two year old with white hair like straw,
one of three brothers,
vanishes each morning,
and one day spying parents
follow at a distance.
He crawls across a paddock,
dragging a saucer of milk,
and sits in the grass and waits –
but not for long.
A scolding mother snatches him up.
Too young to explain
or remember –
all we have
is circumstantial evidence
of a child’s
conjectured breakfasts with a black snake.
If fate is entropy
and time has no beginning,
why are we still here?
All we have is circumstantial evidence.
The universe repeats itself.

from Spring Forest, Faber & Faber 1994, by permission of the Geoffrey Lehmann

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.