Tawny
by Vicki Mandell-King



There is no other word to describe the color
of the winter fields the road cuts through
on my way to you –

exactly like the back and haunches of a lion,
the hairs of his mane stirred by wind,
sifted like grains of time.

Another time, I might call that lion
Samson, and wonder if, among his pride,
prowls a lioness named Delilah.

Another time, I’d ponder the power
in hair to seduce. And yet in a bald head,
there is virility, brawn.

And in the face of a woman shorn by chemo,
a terrible beauty.
But for today, I think of the heart of a lion,

how it takes courage to love.
My own heart so vulnerable again,
like the hare in its hutch in the moon.

Lion or lover,
if I squint, I can almost
unsee your face there. Almost.





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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