Before climbing down the shaft
my great grandfather prays
not to Jesus
who rose from the tomb
as a boy did from the mine, dirt-logged
and heavy in his father’s arms
but to the Serpent who snatches
men into dirt.
Witnesses swear it was no cave-in
but the clamp of fangs.
At times a head of hair, a leg,
an outstretched finger like the tail of a rat
poking between jaws.
Henry Mills was born in Silver Spring, Maryland to a Salvadoran mother and a Jewish-American father. For the past seven years he’s taught creative writing workshops at middle and high schools throughout the DC metro area. His work has appeared in Folio, Blaggie Aggie Press and Time You Let Me In. Currently he’s an MFA poetry candidate at New York University.