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Safe at Home
by Laurel Johnson
You prowl the space around me,
nostrils flared, eyes closed,
as if a benediction had been spoken.
Ancient instincts tell me you're the alpha male
encircling his mate. I see your strength,
your determination to prevail.
Nothing I say or do can put you off the scent
so I stop trying, and leave you staring after me
with long-banked fires in your eyes.
I despise that fire and what it stands for
because I fully comprehend the possibilities
if I so much as raise my head to look your way.
Safe at home I prowl another's space,
my chosen mate,
the one whose scent inhabits
old familiar pathways I am bound to follow.
-- from Color of Laughter, Color of Tears, Winterwolf Publishing 2004