In another version, the lion
leapt without hesitation.

He called it courage,
how simple his heavy paws
dashed her to the yellow bricks,
swatted the little dog at his haunches,
how his powerful maw carried
their little bodies back to his den
careless, their heads drooping
towards the forest floor.

He called it courage,
how he dismantled the Tin Man, made
an oven of his empty chest, used
the Scarecrow’s arm as tinder
to start the roasting spit. And,

after his gorging, he spread
what was left of the body, a bed
of straw on which to sleep,
his belly full
and stretched
and sure of itself.

****

Photo by Winfried Bruenken (Amrum) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons.