“In stripes, they hide” was a, myth profound
I saw him, often, flaunt his streaks
Did they, ever abound, to be, never ever, found?
We kill truths, for, fairytale mystiques!
When he was, last one, left of, last streak
Why was, I fixed, as the, new ranger
To shoulder, all alone, carcass of critique
When the, last one, was shot, by a, known poacher!
Two souls, entrapped, in an enigma
One feared, to live, one dared, to die
Destined, to bear, each other’s, stigma
We flouted truth, to flirt, with a lie!
“Let’s share, the spoils, when I sell, his hide!”
I begged poacher, to, “Fear human faith!”
“It’s a, trivial cat, not a Christ, to be crucified!”
I felt, no more, than a, hopeless wraith!
Was it, our tryst, with destiny
When that, rampart broke, which we withstood
I died, in the throes, of ignominy
When I Heard, His Last Roar, In The Wood!
© 2021 Vikas Chandra