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Erik Lilly
Poet
Both of my sons, Patrick and Alexander, love the serpent statue on Fayette Street and frequently ask to stop there to play. I wrote the poem while watching Alexander play on the statue in the summer of 2013. In one particular moment, he was sitting on the statue itself while completely engrossed in an imaginary world.

Aside from being a retelling of a fairly mundane but particularly happy memory, I enjoyed the richness of the contrasts I saw: hard blue metal and soft green grass, the mix of the man-made and the natural (which is an important characteristic of the city of Syracuse), and you can almost see the movement of the serpent despite its static appearance. Is the serpent only momentarily still, subdued by my son? Or, rather, has Alexander’s imagination stopped time itself?

Steely blue serpent
Emerges from soft green grass—
The snake charmer sits

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