Yucca will take over if you let it.
Every summer after the blooms dry, I tackle them with long,
red-handled clippers and cut off long stalks.
Not bothering to put on boots, I set out in black and grey Chacos,
cutting stalks in places unreachable by tractor.
I climb down to a rough area, open these long, red-handled clippers,
chop off the dead blossoms, then look down.
She lies there, her body slightly bigger than the size of my upper arm,
fat, not long.
A snake stretched out, only 1/8 inch from the front of my Chacos.
I look again. Crap. She’s a rattlesnake, one of those short,
stout prairie rattlers, perfectly blending with the grey and brown
rocks and soil.
Slowly, I inch backward, taking care not to fall on the steep slope.
When several feet away, I run to the barn, grab two shovels off their hooks,
run back. She’s gone. I search everywhere around.
I never find her.