The Peter Pan Prize
Spring 2010
Sybil B. Collins

Where Tigers Roam

Whenever you dream of a conquest so fair
To define your own place in the sun,
You’d perhaps run away for adventure or play
As a hunter who carries a gun.

If you happen to go where the tigers bold roam,
Whether jungles or dales or green hills,
You will see a fair sight that’s unlike any seen
In a world where reality dwells.

If you raise your hand slowly and silently stand,
A tiger will come to you there.
So you pause and anticipate, feeling the beat
Of your heart pounding fast in your ears.

But no growl and no roar and not even a purr
Will you hear as a breeze stirs warm air.
Then black stripes on bright gold will appear from above
And soon drift down to you standing there.

With no sound and no lunge, it will float to your hand
And alight like a petal that’s dumb.
And instead of sharp claws bursting forth from four paws,
You’ll count six spindly legs in the sun.

In bold black and gold symmetry not made of fur,
You observe tiny scale upon scale.
And in place of long tail twitching through the thick air,
From hind wings, two long swallow tails trail.

If you happen to go where the tigers bold roam
In a fantasy dream of conquest,
If you raise your hand slowly and silently stand,
You can boast of a tiger’s caress.
©2010 Sybil B. Collins