The Last Tiger


Once I was the Empress of an emerald empire,
my paws padded on a verdant carpet as I stalked my domain,
while the mighty trees spread their cooling canopies over me
and their attendant birds serenaded my royal progress.
The plump plant-eaters were slow and easy to hunt
then belly full I would lazily bathe in a chill lake
before I slept, and then my subjects would go silent
for fear that if disturbed I would wake with a fiery anger.

I slept too long, waking hungry
to discover my empire was aflame.
My paws now padded on charred ground, disturbing clouds of ash
toppled twisted trees wept blazing leaves,
while the bloated bodies of my prey bob in the lake like obscene water lilies.
All day and night greedy saws snarl and cruel motors growl,
as men with treacherous gold-toothed smiles
and avaricious eyes are hunting me.

So tonight as the moon casts her sad smile on this destruction,
I will kindle my fury to become an orange flame
that will sweep through the remnants of my realm
to destroy its devastators,
burning brightly one final time.

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