Crouching at the feet of magnificence
I am defenseless, vulnerable –
Totally at the mercy
Of the mighty beast
Who towers over me;
With one swipe of his paw
He could tear me to smithereens;
The lion’s razor claws scrape the stone,
His tale lashes the air like a whip,
And his pointed teeth gleam white.
His golden sides ripple with muscle:
He moves with adroitness,
But I am awkward, ungainly –
Still puzzling out
The use of my limbs.
I try to scale the precipice,
But stumble on the slippery rocks,
My tiny paws clutch at air
As I plummet downwards with sickening slowness;
In a single bound he is beside me,
And my crazy descent ends
In a pair of velveteen paws;
Whiskers tickle my cheek,
And the lion’s warm breath causes
My little heart to cease its frantic pounding.
I am a mere animal,
Yet I can sense his love;
My terror of him crumbles away –
I know he will protect me,
Even with his life.
~ Ilana Reimer