C Richard Miles (1961)
The Tiger On The Nineteenth Floor
Just watch out for the tiger on our block’s nineteenth floor
As its picture leaps at you through the wood of the door,
For it aims to devour you as it bears painted claws,
Gnashing synthetic teeth in its red, lifelike jaws.
Though it’s only a poster, it is frightening enough
As the lift door wide opens, for the lighting is duff,
Since it gleams through the dullness in its fierce, threatening way
As it makes its appearance taking breath clean away.
It replaces the soldier in his pressed uniform,
Standing stiff to attention, with his locks neatly shorn.
Did I happen to mention that my neighbour named John
Is a bit of a joker, and so he sticks on
The front of his door, in a good-humoured way
A designed life-sized image to brighten the day.
If the tiger won’t make you run scared for your life,
The doormat will do so: “Beware of the wife! ”
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