Snake Shanties


Briana took her snake carefully from the cool cave, cooing while he hissed softly. He was by far the favorite of her jump ropes. Not too long, beautiful stripes, smart and devoted completely to her.

With him (she held to the superstition that one must never say the name of your rompet aloud for fear the special bond will break), with him she could jump for hours, singing shanties until she began to float a foot above the earth.

The two would then recline mid-air and stare at the sky, naming the planets they would visit when she was older.

Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Eleven Eleven, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, The Cardiff Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is the Chapman University Flash Fiction winner and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press), and Respect: Poems About Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press). She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia.

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