Green Hills Literary Lantern

 

Puma, Cougar, Panther, Mountain Lion

 

 

Hancock Hill, on one of whose

northern flanks our house rests,

is not one but several hills

bunched together and separated

by arroyos choked with yucca,

cholla, prickly pear, and whitebrush.

 

Yesterday, two hikers emerged

from the arroyo near the dumpsters

beside our street, their eyes still wide

from their sighting of two fresh

mule deer kills a half-mile or so

from our house.  Local naturalists,

 

they could tell by the way

the carcasses were ravaged

the kills were the work of a lion.

As they drove away, I pondered

the countless nights it must,

in hunger, have circled our acre,

 

inching silently through the darkness

on the pliant black pads of its paws,

the circles of its stealth shrinking

with each soft, deliberate step,

tightening the noose of wilderness

around the dewy-eyed throat of our sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

Larry D. Thomas, the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, has published several award-winning and critically acclaimed collections of poems, most recently The Lobsterman’s Dream (Poems of the Coast of Maine), El Grito del Lobo Press, Fulton, MO, 2014.  His New and Selected Poems (Texas Christian University Press, 2008) was a semi-finalist for the National Book Award.  Thomas has two chapbooks forthcoming later this year or in early 2015: The Goatherd (Mouthfeel Press, El Paso, TX) and Art Museums (Blue Horse Press, Los Angeles, CA).  He lives with his wife, Lisa, in Alpine, Texas.