The National Catholic Review

For young Jack is a small lion in my house.
—Hunt Hawkins, “My Cat Jack”
For there is the Thunder-Stop, which is the voice of God direct.
—Christopher Smart, “Of the Spiritual Musick”

For the parts of the Tibetan lion dog are as follows:
For the heart is murmurous but sound;
For the head is a chrysanthemum nuzzling the tall grass, but softer,
     more smellable yet;
For the nose leather is black, polished, and the shelf of the nose
     precise;
For the fleecy white bellyhair seems edible to children;
For the torso is a stretched and sturdy monument when the lion dog
     guards our house, sphinx of the sliders;
For the right forepaw of the sphinx is precious paw, ever curled
     to the pettable chest;
For the tremor in the neck is both theatrical and worrisome;
For the pituitary tumor is a goad to the adrenal glands;
For the tail is a plume but in her last days ratskinned;
For the golden coat is now sparse, the keratoses not;
For the pancreas is a vindictive organ, furious with fat;
For the flux is pure blood;
For the blood is the blood of Paper Dragon and Yobo Ting-Yay,
     of Sonny Boy, Spot, and Judy, of the ancestral palace pets;
For the teeth are as sharp as my conscience;
For the eyes are on me as the lion dog roars and relaxes.

M. B. Powell has published widely on medieval literature, and her poetry has appeared in various reviews. She teaches English at Pierce College in Puyallup, Wash. This poem was third runner-up in this year’s Foley Poetry Cont

Comments

John Siegmund | 9/14/2010 - 9:15pm
Very Nice!!!

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