Mountain Lions in Captivity
by Russell Rowland



Their hillside terrain is fenced. We view
from behind glass, as we view everything.

Two catamounts nap like rugs, their hunt
over forever, hunger dulled out of pails.

Languishing on display far from the Ark,
they will die early, and won’t reproduce.

No longer do they hear vulgar fingers tap
on the pane, seeking to provoke ferocity.

Theirs is a narcotic Eden: lion lies down
with lamb. A little child could lead them.

We who, astray in mountainous habitat,
would become what nature provides a cat,

contrived to re-hang the food-chain links
with our jackhammers, opposable thumbs.

We prevailed, remaining original in sin—
there are worse predators outside than in.





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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