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by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

For days I tried to capture you
Or shoo you towards
The French doors
Out to the verandah
With its warm sautillo tiles
But every time I approached
You skittered away
Behind the stacks
Some days I'd find you
Lazily perched on a book
Basking In the mid-morning rays
You'd see me
And we'd repeat this ancient dance
Today you were either
In a sunbather's trance
Or I was quicker
When I dropped the mosquito net
Food cover over you
“Gotcha!” I intoned
You dashed up the side
Tried to escape through a hole
Head and shoulders out
Reptilian hands clawing air
I upended you and saw
Your smooth underbelly
With its Maxfield Parrish Iridescence
Running in distinct stripes and patterns
Along your creamy sides
For a split second
I thought of keeping you
Putting you in the bowl
With polished stones
And agate marbles
Where I forced this year's tulips

Such beauty to behold


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