Quadrille, for Tigers by Christine Craig

Quadrille, for Tigers

In all your straight lines
I curve trying to find
a little hollow
a gap under the window
through which to climb
into your friendship.

On the cool slope
of white hibiscus
a humming bird
shakes his emerald glow
and sits, small head tilted.
How easy his poise,
how sweet their stillness.

In the streets and broken houses
we put our thorns first.
Harsh words roll along the cracks,
harsher thoughts drip from reddened eyes
as every day we turn a knife
between our apathy and anger.

Between the noise and silence
we move in careful steps
each with too much past unsorted
for brisker measure. But I am weary
of this slow quadrille, for tigers
leap behind my clouded brain
spiders stretch their furry joints
ready to trip me out of step.

Copyright Christine Craig 2010

Reprinted with author's permission from All Things Bright & Quadrille for Tigers. Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, UK.

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