RETREAT

Even a rattlesnake 
knows when to retreat—
half-a-dozen quick
hide-a-ways 
at his mental fingertips.
 
Who wants to know
the latest detail
of the same old news,
only to recognize ourselves
in Chekhov’s mirror?
 
Soap opera or box,
all the bad actors
stage left and right
look like possums
in the headlights.
 
Weary-washed with waves
of news, a man could drown
and sink to the bottom—
but even a rattlesnake
knows how to swim.

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