night terror

each night I walk down dusty paths
thick stands of trees on either side
hear wildness padding close behind
soft footfalls scuffing at the leaves

there’s beauty in his lordly stripes
lips sneering as he bares his teeth
no-one to help, no place to hide
this stalker bides his time to leap

we’ve played the scene so many times
by now we should be bosom friends
but terror’s strength still holds me tight
his bite might be my story’s end

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