After Indigo
by Alan Gann

No one knows why the tiger came inside.
There had been reports, orange and black, ever since Indigo died
and we had ignored the occasional chicken or goat gone missing.
But here it is, stretched across my kitchen table,
head nested in crook crossed paws--
eyes neither menacing nor curious, neither innocent nor wise
but calm and lively like a miracle, a turned maple leaf
swirling purposely into your breast pocket.

The stock has been fed, yard scoured for the day's fresh eggs.
Sensuous, the coffee waits to be poured,
mug to be filled, newspaper read. Instead I sit,
idly scratch behind a twitching ear,
accept low rumble as assent and encouragement.
His sandpaper tongue laps over a lazy morning's stubble,
rubs temple and ear a raw and vigorous red.
Too soon the nannies will cry for their milking.

I do not leave doors open and all the window have screens.
This is unimportant. He comes and goes by another logic.
I wake to find him sprawled across my chest,
half nestled beneath the blanket--wonder
that so many pounds can insinuate without disturbance.
Or I see him while picking beans,
his lithe silhouette prowling along the edge.
I dive into the creek where it widens into a deep pool
and when I break the surface he is paddling along side.

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