Their footsteps faded behind me
as I approached the familiar road.

Someone hung a tree snake
on the barbed-wire fence.
I stabbed its mangled head
with a stick
and tossed it onto the ground,
its wet body dusted yellow.

The branch above me rustled,
and I jumped back suddenly,
afraid to look up.

In the distance,
the house stood in dying light.
I turned to see them coming down the road,
and ran home, exhilarated.

Tien Tran