a tiger tale

a tiger tale
for her born in the year of

Acknowledgements for use of this image to: http://www.animalplanet.com/wild-animals/endangered-species/amur-tiger/

the baker said
‘i will break your
bread in my hands
and find your
fragrance with
greedy fingers,
your wine will
sing in my glass’,
she purred in
demur and whistled
between fangs of
new moon
‘my coat would
burn your hand
in touch, better
you flatter those
at the fat counter
of your eyes.
be content with
the coin of smile’,

the builder said
‘i will build you
a cage of finest woods,
that smell with
memories of bird
and beast and
you will stay
within my cool
and painted walls,
no rude hand
shall lay its lust
upon you’,
she purred in
demur and whispered
between fangs of
new moon’,
‘my pounding would
break your house apart,
better you house another
to bear your kid and
cub, and sleep easy
in the forest of
your own eyes’

the lawyer said
‘ i will write you into
contract that shall bind
you with the narrowest
of laws, and your nature
shall lie down with the
lamb, the men and
women of the town
shall doff their hats
to you in title’
she purred in
demur and hissed
between fangs of
new moon,
‘the laws i follow
are old and few,
and blood has
always been let
in answer to
them, i would burst
your weak ties asunder,
the grammar of dust
you would write me
with, better you
court another who
can lay your lie
like silver
coverlet on
your marriage bed’

the hunter said
‘i will shoot my
heart across your
eyes, and you will
know my grip on
the nape of your
neck, and follow my
call more loyal than
the honest hound’,
she purred in
demur and rumbled
the night
between fangs of
new moon
‘your heart is
for my taking, not
mine for yours,
my wandering thirst
would drink you dry,
better you bend
your bow to the
maiden with her
needle and thread
that she will work
to frill your soul
around, a doily
for the table’
and lady tiger
leapt from
dark to
and roared
the stars

november 2019

Copyright ©2019 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from (John) Dowland: Complete Lute Works, Vol. 1 played by Paul O’Dette, Track 2: The Frogg Galliard, P 23 & 23a.

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