The Child, or the Tiger?
It was the silence that made the strange fog
More menacing, and then it was broken.
A distant, then a not-so-distant, dog,
Then the first words—curse words—I heard spoken.
Collar tags, a chain, a frightening yelp.
Determined not to move, I held my breath
Despite desiring to cry to God for help
To save me from what I was sure was death.
So silently I prayed, then heard a voice,
A whisper mingled with a panicked calm.
Was it a girl’s? Perhaps, it was a boy’s.
But one thing was for certain: I heard “mom.”
Then small footfalls and larger steps pursue.
I know and don’t know what I ought to do.
Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, The Good Men Project, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Jazz Cigarette, Quail Bell Magazine, Antarctica Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, Indigo Lit, Saw Palm, Fine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, Birmingham Arts Journal, Clockwise Cat, and Snapdragon, felan, and The Ghazal Page, among other journals. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.
Editor’s Note: To compliment the sonnet, the lion, Arrowhead, a female cub from the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, was stalking a wild boar (Photo by Sundeep Kheria). The silhouette of a boy running is superimposed on it.