If you walk at all, walk gently
For I am no longer the tigress
who surrendered with a growl of bliss
nor she who spilt her golden fur
to warm your careless feet
exposed her kitten belly
to your sharp-nailed attentions
and emphatically not she who slunk away
wearing your guilt as her own.
For now my eyes see through you
my claws know the savour of blood
and my purr has the edge of a growl.
Take a wrong step, and you’ll swiftly learn
how poised I am – and how hungry
to taste the sweet wrath of justice.
And if I smile, you should never forget
that my teeth gleam as bright as my eyes.
So walk gently – or don’t walk at all.
Sometimes an prompt coincides perfectly with what’s going on in your life. Which was exactly the case with the picture above, part of the Yorck Project’s collection. I came across the image at the Miss Rumphius Effect Poetry Stretch, with the challenge to write a poem inspired by it.
And on this occasion inspiration came rather easily, as it arrived not long after my ex got in touch with me after about a year’s silence…