THE LION AND THE STRIPED CHILD

From my ball of stupor a glint at the edge

of my eye puts my limbs on notice. Stretch out,

neck swivels, sniff the air, nothing unusual here,

shadows, hardly a sound, nothing to fear or

get excited for, just par- my tired woolly life

in here. Go back down. Rest some more. But no!

There, in the distance, a little parcel, a striped little thing. Yes,

I remember, the way we were, a thousand years before,

the green world, the savannahs and skies, red and

bloody suns. We ran, my family and I, the ground flashing

under us, our blood pounding inside us. For the kill.

Everything tied to the kill. Things mattered then. I will. 

Shamble down, not to scare the little thing. Here. Such a sweet  marvel.

Plaything. Dear friend, as yet unaware. Mine, I swear. I reach

to touch the skin. It’s not there. I hurt myself instead. I’ll try again.

Same thing. Am I imagining this? I’m in a bad dream.

 I gnash my teeth, I want to break the screen.  I want to smash

 this dream. I want out. I want out of here.