Morning Encounter

For Rich McKee, il paparazzo


A hundred fifty pounds of cat,

magnificent in tan, white underneath,

black-marked ears and tail,

puma concolor, the Florida panther,

on his morning walk as well,

looking for breakfast, some rodent nuggets,

or, if it’s his lucky day, a bit of pork or venison.

Nothing to fear but alligators

and far too many humans,

always greedy for territory.

Muscular, lean but broad-shouldered,

a calm observer, at ease,

one striped leg forward, wide

amber eyes peering from the brush,

unworriedly assessing the situation,

perhaps alert to his celebrity status,

aware the fans are watching

for this cameo appearance

by an endangered star.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper



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