Adder Eats - Suzi Cunningham

(Inspired by the adder, endangered in Scotland’s lost landscapes)

A zig zag Blue black on twisted grey A slithering shimmer across stone A shape of change A sea of scales; continuous moving spine of no bones In spring, lithesome, emerging from the hibernation of sleep

To shed skin To sit in sun


A new brighter lissom landscape crawling out of its dorsal mould Ready to harness the heat of the day A basking coil of lazy spirals gains momentum and shifts into virile night

With flight Bite Adder eats frog Adder eats mouse Adder eats rabbit What a sight


But the only sight of adder I caught No longer bright A bent shape stopped in shimmering motion Until dried, like hot crust on concrete I thought a stick. So struck Stuck. Between moor-edge and woodland, is grassland lost An adder exposed To wheel An unforgiving predator, for which there is no venom