[Sara Michas-Martin's poem from Jubilat 16, 2009]
I didn't notice last time
the hooked branches and fenced-out
sky -- the leaves' flammable
glare. I didn't hear the bells swing
in my sideways glance or see
the creatures with spiked horns
clash in the bark's design.
In the ferns a nervous shadow, a person
stooped to bury
tokens in the ground. A squirrel
splashes the brush and I'm
spooked, a flood-burn
to the exterior. The lady in the briar
jostles the bats in her hair. Up close
they are heavy birds, thunderous
when they snap away.
Through filtered light I see
my lion take shape. I watch her
pace, maybe swagger, no
this time she's lying down.