Favourite Poems XLVIII

In Winter in My Room

In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm —
Pink, lank and warm —
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home —
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I’d not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood —
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power —

The very string with which
I tied him — too
When he was mean and new
That string was there —

I shrank — “How fair you are”!
Propitiation’s claw —
“Afraid,” he hissed
“Of me”?
“No cordiality” —
He fathomed me —
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream.

— Emily Dickinson

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