by Barbara Crooker

Symbol of the resurrection, slithering and hissing
down the page. The monks believed a snake
was restored to youth whenever it shed its skin.
But then there was the snake in Genesis, the loss
of innocence, the great fall: a double-edged
sword, a forked tongue. In the Book of Kells,
some snakes are made out of abstract interlace,
while others form complete borders:
serpentine coiling interweaving fretwork tracery: