Lion in Love

by Marcelle Kasprowicz

based on Le Lion Amoureux by Jean de La Fontaine

In days of yore
when people and animals consorted still
lived a lion so smitten with a lady
he asked for her hand in marriage
To her father he went
with his mane duly slicked back
--almost tamed--
lowered his lordly stare
dropped one knee to the hard cobblestone
and half fumbled his request

The lord of the castle
quaking in his seven-league boots
What could he do?
One swat of that terrible paw
and he would be minced meat

They brought in the lady
shy as a dove on the outside
hard as nails on the inside
She sized up her prospects
and was duly impressed
--almost in love--
Lion melted at her feet
They were wed

Sweet husband, she cooed
before their honeymoon
behold my fair neck
I fear you will draw blood
when we embrace
Please let me trim your lordly nails
just a little
Lion looked at her fair neck
and deep into her eyes
He acquiesced
What could he do?
He was in love

Quick, she ran down to the garden
borrowed the rosebush clippers
--golden of course--
and pared his nails
left five bleeding nubs on each paw

Furthermore, she cooed
when we kiss
I fear your lordly teeth
will bite my tender lips
Please let me file them
just a little
Lion looked at the nubs on his paws
and deep into her eyes
He sighed and acquiesced
What could he do?

Quick, she ran down to the stables
borrowed the horse-shoeing file
--golden of course--
came back and filed away
to the gum

After that
she did with him as she pleased.

Marcelle Kasprowicz writes in English and French. She was awarded several prizes. Her poems were published in Borderlands Texas Poetry Review, and a Gival Press Anthology. Her book of poems, Organza Skies, was published in 2005.

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