Dangerous Beauty

FloridaPanther_01-Cougar

Tendrils of fear
Prick my spine,
A tingle rippling
Outward.
I sense you,
My every move
Cautious,
Scared.
Trapped,
A human statue,
Frozen by fear
Unsure–
Like prey
Caught in
The crosshairs,
Feel the danger,
Not the direction.
Your tawny paw
Steps out
Revealing yourself,
From browns and greens,
Nature’s camouflage.
Amber eyes on me,
Unblinking,
Assessing,
Wild grace
In your gait.
I hold my breath,
Awed,
By your beauty,
My fear.
As you circle,
Deciding.
Muscles ripple,
You stretch out,
Swish your rope like tail,
Turn,
Disappearing into the wood
Like a ghost.
Hand to heart,
Feel thumping beat,
Reassurance.
I live to see
Another day.

Today, walking my dogs, I encountered what I’m now pretty sure was a young Florida panther sunning itself next to a neighbor’s house. Fortunately the pups didn’t see it and the wild beast seemed to have been well fed, or that could’ve been a very scary situation. Not wearing my glasses, something compelled me to look over at their house. For about 2 seconds I thought I was looking at a tree stump (hey, no glasses, remember?). After I blinked a second I realized that I was looking at a big effing cat…bigger than my 26 lb dog. Bobcats aren’t uncommon, so I thought maybe that’s what I saw…I mean, the thing was definitely big, had nice fangs…but one thing kept bothering me. Bobcats usually have spots/markings…this one was all tawny. I kept my dogs moving and got them past where the beast was sunning itself before they even noticed.

When I got home, I googled Florida wildlife…looked up bobcats…then clicked Florida panthers. Yup! It was a young panther. They are beautiful and wild, but I was so glad it wasn’t hungry. That could’ve really been scary. Well, ya’ll know me…never turn down a chance to create a poem out of a slightly scary & life threatening experience. What about you? Have you had any scary moments with nature? (And not the kind where you were on a long hike, needed to use the restroom and didn’t have one nearby…unless it involves using poison ivy as TP…LOL! Just kidding.)

And…in honor of love…and the unusual…I’m throwing down some old school jazz…complete with scatting (musical…not the creepy stuff) and improv. Yes, ladies and gents, that mean’s Ella’s in the house! She, like a fine wine, only got better with age…