Saturday, October 30, 2021

Prayer for Draco

The iguana looks outside 
At trees that he should climb
Beyond his upstairs cage
Where the daily feed of grapes
And mustard greens
Suffices for the wild.

He paces the hacienda,
Looking for the stray branch
Or wire to climb away
From the humans,
Who are equally bound by law 
To keep him safe

With all his fits and spasms,
His leaping into hair,
His not surviving long
If we don't stoop to clean his poop
And spray his cage and never
Look him square in the face.

The living room window 
Is almost a hole,
He understands that
Better than the need to make him
A pet, because he's cute
And different,

As he crawls around
On his last 3 legs,
All his contortionist tricks
Going to waste,
And so much rage that's lost
On everyone but the cat,

But not those eyes,
So suffering, so human,
Impossible to imagine we can't 
Console them
Or make the grief

It is his private struggle,
Born of choices 
None of us can know,
That intangible thing 
Called karma
That rises corporeal 

In every thick-gloved exchange,
In every duck for cover
When I enter the cage;
Is it his or mine,
Impossible to say,
Perhaps it is the same.