Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lion -- Michael Hettich

Behind that door
in a white room we keep
a man who thinks
he is a lion.
You can see he's kept safe.
He thinks he's a lion!

Once he escaped
and ran through the city.
Changed his name.
Actually this isn't him,
this is a lion.

And this is a picture
of the African plains.
We'll slip it beneath
his door now; he'll look at it
smiling, draw
an animal on it
and himself running
to catch it, slip
the picture back under
the door.

thus we study
the workings of his mind.

Today he's drawn
a bowl, that's a bowl
of soup, being carried
by a stick figure, a woman.

That's him smiling.
Notice the hair
is wild, that he wears
no shirt.
Each day the picture
is different, but he always
smiles. Tonight his dinner

is soup, of course,
and a woman, but what
do you think of his smile,
his naked chest, skinny
after months in the white room
but still wild --

What do you think
he looks like, who do you
think he is, who do you
think he thinks
he is, we are? These are some
of the questions we ask ourselves.
A wild man! A lion!

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