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Your unfinished face always questioned.
Nose, ears, whiskers, mouth–why the sudden stop?
No social graces, perhaps;
not fashionably late, like the others;
really no way to tell, all larval
and pulpy, squirming silent
while your mother sandpapered you lively.
You didn't know what you were missing.
A cerebral disturbance
sent you spinning, sometimes,
till a chair leg or coffee table
thumped you still, for a moment,
only to spin again, again, again.
In the fields, you became rabbit,
popcorn snake-hunter, vaulting
through the ticklish stroke of long grasses,
somehow sensing your cold, silent prey–
we never saw the capture–
then strutting gingerly along the stone wall,
your silver trophy writhing,
till we shrunk your world back
to its familiar proportions.
I hope vast Africa keeps you well,
brave Pegasus; that the warm breath
of the savanna fills your tiger heart,
as you stalk the wild antelopes
you will never see.

Sept. '99