Alison Campbell

The Lion Roars - Poem by Alison Campbell

The lion sleeps.
Whisper your words
Tiptoe… ever… so….
Don’t wake the lion
Who sleeps within
My heart.

Screeeeeeech of nails
Down the blackboard
Of life.
Why the hell did you do that?
Was my silent request
What do you mean,
Understood completely? !

The lion stirs.
Jarred by the blackboard
Quit poking him.
Or I’ll have to make a run for it.
Aha! No worries…
Just noticed the cage bars.
The lion yawns in captive

What’s that jingle?
That jangles and wrangles and
Spangles and tangles and angles and
In my head?
Is that keys you are jingling?
Keys are for locks
Are for opening cages.
Key rhymes with D
And D is for danger.

What do you mean…
It’s my CHOICE, it’s my cage,
It’s my comfort and pain,
It’s my safe, warm sewer,
It’s my rage?
Come on then…
Hand them over.
Should I say “Thank you”
Or “Screw you”
Or simply “Let’s get out of here”?

Is there a key here to Neverland?
Or to Paradise Lost?
Or found?
Can I find here a way back to
Fantasy Island?
Any world but this one
Would do.
And all of the while
While I’m bumbling and fumbling
The lion looks on
Without blinking.

How the hell did that happen?
The key’s in the lock.
Keys are for danger
And opening doors.
The lion’s awake now
And suddenly seems
Like he’s all paws and claws
And jaws and gnaws
And flaws
But mostly flaws
As he silently licks his lips.

So the blackboard is screeching
And the keys are jangling
And I am fumbling
And the lion is licking his lips.
And the key is turning
And the lock is yielding
And the door is gaping
And I am licking my lips…

And the lion in my heart roars.

(March 2004)

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, June 4, 2006

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