The Tiger and the Tortoise

The Tiger and the Tortoise

You are carnivorous.

I can’t help but flinch

when you dig your sharp words deep,

lodging them so precisely

that their instantaneous effects

strike my shell with an unsettling rattle.


You stir up a boiling pot

toss in garnishes of

my frustration

and my anger

and my helplessness

and try to lure me out

of my feeble, softening shell.


You’re hungrier than ever,

growing increasingly ludicrous

prodding my tender sides with

your stinging jeers

your biting leers

your gleaming teeth

so ready to sink into my skin.


I must admit,

you’ve seasoned me just right

with humiliation and inferiority.


It makes me wonder, really,

if you know how sharp your claws are,

if your mother had ever taught you

to never to play with your food.


And as I dare to peek into those dark beads,

I try not to notice the fact

I am so small

in the reflection of your glazed eyes,


As I peer into that cavernous mouth of yours,

I realize and am admittedly somewhat reassured

that  you will never change.

You will never compromise

you and your infuriating, condescending ways.

And I guess I admire that.


But I cannot lie.

As my macerated shell disintegrates

into your satisfied paws,

I am no longer

a modest tortoise, but

just a tiger’s mirthful meal.