A Lion in the Grass

Mai Phan



The only book I ever hid, (the story came to pass),
The only book I ever hid had a lion in the grass.

I tucked it underneath my bed, and drew it slyly out,
It dropped right to that “special” page, when no one was about.

He laid in indolent repose, my lion on the lawn,
He stared at me, and bid me go, and dare to face the dawn.

It wasn’t nighttime where he leaned against a parkside tree.
He lazed there, bold as brass and tacks, and gazed there, mocking me.

While other boys hid magazines, with women half-undressed,
My lion posed in cutoff shorts and bared his naked chest!

He had a tail, he had a mane, and talons much like mine.
He had a cheerful, cheeky grin that said “Things will be fine.”

So I hid him like a fantasy I’d never realize,
And wondered at the daylight sun reflecting in his eyes.

I didn’t want to share him, well, for “why” I can’t explain.
It might be he had everything I one day hoped to gain.

He looked like he had confidence. He looked like he’d found “her.”
He looked like love had found them both, no matter where they were.

He looked like “Possibilities.” He looked like “Tried and True.”
He looked like “You’ll face all your fears and love will see you through.”

So, while some boys hid centerfolds, and some hid soft-core porn,
And some hid swimsuit models, pages carefully torn,

I hid a lion in the grass, and kept him in the dark.
And wondered if, some day, I too might find “her” in the park.






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