From far away the child’s singing
            sounds like the cries of a rat
in the mouth of a python.
            She will gear up tomorrow
to sing again, and again
            the next day, and so on
until the day some other
            child’s awful screech triggers
the little rat of anger inside her
            and she’ll realize then what
she never realized before:
            that she entered the jaws
of the python long ago,
            that she is now part of
its flesh and bones and blood,
            eight feet of sleek muscle
that can easily kill with
            the silent power of
her slow, loving embrace.