Tricia Knoll


The zoo lions’ feet twitch in hot sleep,
they stroll apocalypse; gates clang open,
cement walls crumble. Fat pads stalk
desert wadis, crouch in razor grass
covering pawprints of zombie
mammoth and cave lion clones
resurrected from maws of frozen tundra.
The pack haunts wildebeest.
Dawn breaks; tourists ride ziplines over safari park,
and lions wake, sniffing bloody beef cached in caves.     

The wolf’s howl is a two-edged vocal voodoo
igniting public meetings and poacher’s prowls.
The lanky pack slinks as stealth,
brings down elk that ate willows on the river bank.
The willows regrow; wrens refind homes.
Elk spook, wary of shades of gray.
Borders stretch beyond map grids,
people with herds pay.
Urbanists google den cams, howl online,
follow collared trackings,
and wear inkjet wolf pack t-shirts.
They never carry the lost lamb home.
Renegade winds answer howls of loneliness.

The butterfly garden hosts milkweed,
asters, pearly everlastings and purple verbenas,
an oasis in the legacy of lawns.
In time for the Fourth of July
the first swallowtail spreads, yellow striped.
The jogger pushing a stroller
sees: wingbeats lift
an awakened dream.

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