Island Resort Stray

by Scott Hutchison

She must be quiet—creeping through
hibiscus hedgerow for geckos, approaching
the lobster tourists who pity all kitties
and toss bites of grilled mahi-mahi;
her sister once boldly demanded such tribute
seeking antidote for her scant ribs and belly,
and a midnight man took time off
from the maintenance of coconut palms
to help blanket her for a trip
to elsewhere. And even though the here
has its share of daily challenge—nesting
black-head gulls who swoop
and noisily peck, restaurant workers
who shoo with water, with brooms,
the rare stray of pregnant and desperate
canine—even though sand fleas
dance beneath her yellow-tiger fur
as she nightly sleeps with one eye open
amongst the stacks of poolside loungers—
life here is slow, and if she can quiet
the steel drum of her heartbeat,
if she can relax and be casually
on the fringe, if she can drink in
warm sunshine and cool island breeze
allowing the hand-scratch of the occasional fancier,
then she can catch all the scents she wants
of small birds sweetly wrapped within
gardenia, and stall the trip to elsewhere
for one more day in the midst of
this splash of human paradise.

 

Scott Hutchison’s previous work has appeared in such publications as Poet Lore, The Georgia Review, and The Southern Review. He has new work forthcoming in Cold Mountain Review and Blue Bonnet Review.

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