Crouched and cornered he waits. Red eyes
dripping, yellow fur stiff with sweat and blood.
How long he has been here, he cannot recall,
and is No Matter, he knows. It was the child’s
voice he answered, and would again. Even now,
his cracked black claws are sharp and ready,
his senescent sinews taut to spring. He has
been here before, in this corner. At least he
has been near it. No, not In it. Always before
he has skirted its periphery, prowled its edges;
always with an eye to Out. No, he has never,
not ever, before been In. How did this happen?
I am Old, he thinks, the ache in his haunches
pressing him to sit. Old, old, old old…
He closes his eyes.
And there it is. The voice again. Low
and soft. So familiar. So unknown.
A coo, a purr, lulling him into forgotten
sleep. Perhaps I am dreaming, he muses,
his huge body easing to the ground. The
voice is closer now. It is warm and violet; a
lilac voice against which he has no defense.
When he opens his eyes, the corner is gone.
The ground is gone. And his matted yellow
coat is dissolving all around him. There is no
pain. Rivulets of citrine gold course from his
limbs, tangling with tendrils of the violet voice.
Breathe, it sings. Just breathe, dear Warrior.
Your work is done. You are home.
We are with you. You are loved.
We are One.
© sdrogers 21 March 2013