Monday, March 1, 2010

Old Fence Lizard

When I stepped out of the car
He was there upon the tree side,
Watching me with beady eyes,
So matched to bark at first
That I could barely see him.

His rough, dark hide
Concealed his sturdy body well.
But some time in the past
The ruse had failed; his tail,
No doubt magnificent in scale
To lizard size, was gone.

Instead a tiny re-grown stub
Projected at an angle from his rear,
Enough to balance with when moving,
But no thing of pride. The lizard didn’t mind;
For his kind, a tail’s inconsequent.
What matters is the head,
Wide-gaping mouth and lightning tongue.

Survivor that he was,
He’d lived past expectations,
A patriarch, an elder, full of lizard wisdom:
Look sharp; don’t move too fast
Or draw attention to yourself; and,
Over all, you see a bug, you catch it.

        ©2003 John I. Blair

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