Water, Then the Tiger
I saw waterfalls and mountains
and faint rainbows against cave walls.
I saw rocks.
I saw dust on your feet.
I saw crumbling
red dust on your feet.
I saw crumbling red dust
as an afterthought about the sky
spreading across the world,
across the water.
Then the tiger came into my head
again, and settled there, hunting
for certainty. Settling for fear.
Every sound was stopped and muffled
across the pine needle floor,
and we walked.
I saw a blue bottle
half-buried in brown leaves,
and a leather shoe nearby
fading to taupe and in pieces.
This is how we walked
through the woods
and this is how we walked through the present.
The sky, and the birds, and some snakes
were where they were supposed to be.
The world kept living around us.
Like Crane’s soldier,
who had no sympathy from those animals,
or the sky, or the sun,
they did not care about us, either. Not there.
Not in faraway deserts,
but what did we know about deserts?
We kept walking through the woods.
Jessica Wiseman Lawrence lives in rural central Virginia. She recently published work in the “Where I Live” series for Silver Birch Press and has been featured in With Painted Words, Lipstick, and Zoomoozophone. She also has poems currently upcoming in Third Wednesday, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Gloom Cupboard Magazine,The Gambler Magazine, UNTUCKED, and The Activity Report. Her work focuses on love and sexuality, current events, motherhood, poverty, and nature. She also has an interest in earth science and biology.