Big Game - Poem by Brenda Shaughnessy
—after Richard Brautigan's "A Candlelion Poem"
What began as wildfire ends up
on a candle wick. In reverse,
it is contained,
a lion head in a hunter's den.
Bigger than one I played
with matches and twigs and glass
in the shade.
When I was young, there was no sun
and I was afraid.
Now, in grownhood, I call the ghost
to my fragile table, my fleshy supper,
my tiny flame.
Not just any old, but THE ghost,
the last one I will be,
the future me,
finally the sharpest knife
in the drawer.
The pride is proud.
The crowd is loud, like garbage dumping
or how a brown bag ripping
sounds like a shout
that tells the town the house
is burning down.
Drowns out some small folded breath
of otherlife: O that of a lioness licking her cubs to sleep in a dream of
O that roaring, not yet and yet
and not yet dead.
So many fires start in my head.
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Brenda Shaughnessy's Other Poems
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You