by Jessi Peterson
The tiger brings her trophy, proud,
cannot understand my reprimand, nor that
I take the tiny bundle from her, walk out
into the bee loud summer clover to weep.
The finest jeweled avian scrap, so newly dead
I take one breath of hope, but then the tiny
neck lolls obscenely against my hand, free of intent,
smearing sweetness from its needle thin beak. One way,
a collar greenly black as the jungle night, the other a sharp,
metallic crimson, brighter than blood. I think then of
a painting by Sargent, Ellen Terry in her green beetle wing dress,
a thousand iridescent wings clasped as shields
against the warp and weft of wool,
soft chain mail for Lady Macbeth
with so much beauty and death in her hands,
and now in mine.
Jessi Peterson works as a children’s librarian. She enjoys kayaking, bluegrass music and foraging. Her work has previously appeared in Wisconsin People and Ideas, Barstow and Grand and The Green Light Literary Journal.