Those Games We'd Play
Memories: stalking in tall grass.
Those from the nest, late spring,
a quick crunch: more fun to be had
with the chase, the darting paw
catching, oft one-clawed, your wing
or tail. How I loved to put
one soft killer’s paw
on your now-useless wing,
carefully clamp my teeth
to your other wing or maybe back,
carry you up the steps,
across the porch,
through the broken screen door
I could pull open. Then to drop you
onto the carpet, stand over you
as you made crazy, hapless circles
with your damaged wing dragging.
Narrow-eyed, I’d follow.
We could play for hours, you and I,
my battings and tosses,
teeth and claws,
scattering your feathers across the floor,
long pinions and soft down drifting.
When I got bored or just too rough,
when you weakened, or slowed,
leaking blood from tiny cuts
my claws had left,
then to bite where your head met your back,
gentle crunch between my teeth,
and your slow movements stopped at last.
That’s when I could leave you for later
or begin to rip you open for the feast
although none of this was because I was hungry.