Henri Bensussen

When the Forest Opens Up

Woman strides to the dance floor dragging her stiffened
husband more as a prop than a partner, her hips a poem
of motion, six feet of rattler wriggling across the trail
as you step back to watch, a slither from east to west,
from shade to sunshine the way snakes do, when they
warm themselves in the spring, a mambo rhythm.
Maybe you wish you were like that woman,
so sure of herself, as she moves her hips to the beat
of a swing orchestra pounding out hits from the Forties,
brave enough, as the forest opens up, to sway and snake
to the sunny side of nature where the rattlers hang out.


Henri Bensussen’s poems and stories have appeared in various journals, incl. Eclipse, Blue Mesa Review, Sinister Wisdom, and others, and in the anthologies, Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness, and Lisa Locasio, ed., Golden State 2017. A chapbook of poems, “Earning Colors,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2015. She has a B.A. in Biology and is a survivor of a Colrain Poetry Conference.

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