(Based on sightings reported

                   in the Kansas City Star)


The latch didn’t click.

Grackles, feeding nearby, looked up.

Treefrogs in the hedgerow

halted evensong, then churned

their hysterical chant to higher decibels.

The lion nuzzled the gate and stepped out,

So emblazoned, it shivered at itself.


Newspaper report

rumors of the escape,

five, ten years apart,

but few will believe a lion

walked away through a ripe wheat field

while the world slept like a circus drunk.


They will say another kind of beast

subtracts their herds

one calf at a time,

slides down furrows, circle barns and silos,

parts the corn with its own colors.


Not many find an unlocked door

or startle certainty with a silhouette.

Some have seen a lion

walking in Kansas ,

have gone to quiet their horses

in the glare of the moon

and found its print

deep in the crusted snow.



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