Poems by Patricia Keough Wilson

12

Tigers

Patricia J. Keough-Wilson

7/12/2014

 

Pictures of tigers line my office wall.

I understand why I am drawn
to these magnificent creatures,
even as age and acquired wisdom
teach me that the awesome,
unimaginable strength of the Creator
of these mysterious beautiful animals makes
the tigers look like tame house pets.

 

I remember when I felt a kinship with tigers,
stretched my hand into a cage to pet one.
I’d risk a hand to pet a tiger. I did.

 

Now as I think about the explosive force of tigers,
a hunger gnaws at my insides.

I need to go see tigers
to stand close to the bars
of the cage that keeps
the tigers in and safe
from those outside.
Some of us have
tigers dwelling within.

Most are just gawkers
but not me. I have caged
my own tiger deep in my heart
so deep I can no longer
open the freedom door.

Truth be told, I no longer want to.

 

I need to see tigers pacing
matching my heart’s hidden stride.
And to wonder how they lay
still, at rest, while their
wild hearts beat a secret
tiger song.

 

I need to let tears
seep from under lids
escaping, free to grieve
my caged tiger within.
And I can only release them
in the safety zone
of tigers kept in cages
because humans
are of great and grave
danger to tigers.

Those kept in visible cages
and those who dwell within.

 

 

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