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I killed a snake once,
a copperhead.
It must have come
from the river.
We found it
in our yard—
it surprised us
as we were planting
tomatoes
and squash.
I took a shovel
and severed its head,
a clean
decapitation.
You have to be
careful with snakes—
their reflexes
are so strong,
sometimes
they'll bite
even after
they're dead.