A Tyger’s Contempt

Walking at noon, cane counting the meter
alongside a messy woods, the deadfall
hung like severed limbs that sway and teeter
as Spring blooms from within Winter’s dead hall.

The cat is a shadow between the trees,
sleekly stalking along a fallen limb,
the sun is high, the day golden, the breeze
steady and smooth, with a feline rhythm.

She must see mice creeping through last year’s leaves
as she hunkers down in a stance to pounce
like a gargoyle on cathedral eaves—
blood better than milk, to her, ounce for ounce.

Lithe, lethal, striped by shadows from the trees
as she leaps so high with her claws spread wide,
then clutching her prey, the mouse caught with ease,
an easy swagger in her Tyger stride.

And I hobble onward, after the kill,
seeing in my mind’s eye the acrobat
that sprung so lissome, though before so still,
mouse now in the praying paws of the cat.

The cat leaves me the head of the dead mouse
at my doorstep, her green eyes fixed on me
as I limp up the steps, into my house.
Is this a Tyger’s contempt? It may be…

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