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.
T. Allen Culpepper