Panther, by Ned O’Gorman

When the panther came
no belfrey rang alarums,
no cleric spat his tea.
When the panther came
the sky and lawn were still.
The panter came
through forest,
through field,
up to the wall
and my one blossoming cherry tree.

I had constructed
the world as it was
and had pared the body
from the customs of languor.
It pressed its nose against
the pane and its gears
ground me away into ribbons
of dissonance.

It turned and sauntered
into the shadows. Its
paw marks on the earth
like cherries too ripe in a white bowl.