Jungle tale


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Let me start
from where you broke off
the bed time tale of a hunter and prey

The fawn in an illusory wood
looks up
A tiny tail-stump quivers

The forests waits
at the edge of a water-hole

Dusk slithers down a tall tree
a gleaming snake-skin hangs there

A distant rumble becomes a roar
the gurgling stream whispers no more

No lilting tune lightens the gloom
A hush of sleep descends on all

Unseen fears nestle in hanging vines
a hungry breath murmurs
down the spine

Hairless palms are suddenly wet
who is the hunter?
who is the prey?

The ape guffaws
he sees stripes
not the polka-dotted flowers

Tawny eyes gleam behind toad-stool huts
a twitching tuft emerges
from undercover

Night has slipped
and fallen in fear
Courage drowns in its black tears

The tiger springs
before you can think
of newer tales to color credulous dreams

©Reena Prasad 18th April 2013

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