A game of tigers and sheep

Who has the tigers and who the sheep

never seems to make any difference.

The result is always the same:

She wins,

I lose.

But sometimes when her tigers

are on the rampage,

and I've lost half my herd of sheep,

help comes from unexpected quarters:


The Rusty Shield Bearer,

neutral till then,

para-drops a winning flower —


and irrelevant —

on the checkerboard

drawn on the pavement in charcoal,

cutting off the retreat

of one tiger,

and giving a check to the other;

and quickly follows it up

with another flower —

just as yellow

and just as irrelevant — except

that it comes down even more slowly;

a flower without a search warrant

that brushes past her earlobe,

grazes her cheek,

and disappears down the front

of her low-cut blouse —

where she usually keeps

her stash of hash —

to confuse her even further, with its mildly


but very distracting fragrance.

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