Poetry / February 2008 (Issue 2)

After The Lion Dance

by Chris Mooney-Singh

He is suited, seated, waiting -
a lion at the cab-stand -
the empty head beside him:

so fluffy eyebrows, ears
not fierce at all and cute
as a giant Pekinese.

His whole troupe's gone -
their banging drums - packed
and cymbals that scare ghosts.

He missed the pick-up truck
that drove off under stars
and waits here for a cab.

This is a part-time job.
He is an on-call lion
and will leap up for a fee

at spirits that might scare
your food-hall launch,
a conference, or trade show.

He is the brains up front
now parted from the body,
yet quite a sitting duck

for the roving eyes of skeptics,
passing by like ghosts
who ignore the ancient ways.

The yellow-pants partner
hidden under sequins
who holds on from behind,

was his crouching tiger
who shouldered him right up
the stilted on-stage platforms

or moved fast with his compass
to the left, or to the right
as cymbals clashed their brass.

The body-part has gone,
Leaving him half a lion,
un-magical on a bench.

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All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.