The Lion Still Roars
When my father died
Everyone ran for his stuff:
Clothes and cameras–
Cufflinks and chainsaws–
I got the lion,
His childhood toy.
Head dangling from a hole in the neck,
Fur worn down to a gray nub.
The lion jumps when you pull its string,
It sits back ever so slowly on its haunches and
Springs at you when you thought it wouldn’t.
The lion learned this from a master jumper.
A slapper, a dancer, a breaker, a chewer, a crier, a liar.
Right by the bedside the lion watched and learned.
One can’t repair this brain chemistry in animal or man.
Violence is just violence, after all.
My mother thinks I should have the lion repaired.
She is used to the simple act of pulling a string,
Comforted by things as they were.
But the lion and I have an understanding
About the unpredictable nature of life.