In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Gerenuk: Poem 16

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Sipping a Rasputin stout,
hoping for animal inspiration,
I watched the household pet,
a Japanese bobtail cat leap
from four-paw standing to
mid-air leap on a moth quest.
She stood tall on two paws
her ears spread wide apart
with aggravated intent.

She looked like a gazelle
and a giraffe, tall and swift;
then I remembered the zoo,
when I braved the school bus,
field trip mom amid 3rd graders.

An African gerenuk, goofball
of the Savannah, big eared,
whistle mouth, tongue clicker
that stood hind leg tall in the
branches seeking choice leaves.

While the cheetahs and lions
drew the crowds, the tree
dancer oddity, half breed
or so it seemed, of flight
and height, panic and poise,
stole my attention, ever the
soft touch for the under dog.

And hard as I tried to bring
the children to her windowed
habitat, they didn’t understand.
“That’s weird,” my own daughter
declared, and I contented myself,
alone in my fascination for freaks,
to have learned about this wonder.

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