Florida Panther – Poem by Barry Middleton

the panther scans the swamp
black tipped ears listen
to the hiss of distant traffic
now familiar as a sibilant wind
brushing the palmetto prairie
and rushing through pine flats
to warn of encroaching enemies

south of the Caloosahatchee
females and cubs know peace
to the north the big male
ranges a hundred miles
dodging his natural enemy
the alligator no match for him
unlike the machines of humans

the hunt was good today
he settles in the underbrush
east of town to rest and dream
and sleeping flicks his ears
and purrs as southern winds
carry the sweet perfume
of the Everglades northward

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