Wednesday, May 06, 2009


author’s note:

“The lamb will lie down with the lion...but the lamb won’t get very much sleep.”
                  –  Woody Allen


The lion presses its paw
down onto my back
as I sleep, my face into the pillow.

If I look up
I fear
the claws may fall
into my eyes.

No matter--I can’t turn around
with that paw pushing down.
I have a mouthful of goosedown:
I’m nearly suffocating.

Now the lion begins to stroke
through my flesh
--as casually as raking leaves.
Showing some slight curiosity.

But of course--a cat.

Has the beast
come to free me?
To dig down
all the way
to my heart?

The lion lifts its paw
to claw again.
I seize the moment--turn over--

to face its wet black nose,
the splendid teeth,
splintery whiskers.
Those golden
dispassionate eyes.

If I am to be freed
through such rude treatment
I want first to address my unmasker.

But the lion clamps its free paw
over my mouth
while the other paw
now digs into
that most tender place.

The indignity!

I grab the leg
at the foot joint
and try to pry the paw loose.

I don’t want to scream,
merely to speak,
to tell the lion
just what I think--
       make the big cat
       feel shame,
       if at all possible.

But then I realize
I’m only trying
to defend myself.

So I let go of the leg.

I have nothing to say
to the beast now
          “Hurry up.”

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Blogger Goldenrod said...


8:17 AM  

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