Tiger Dreams

one day
you will meet a tiger.
You and the tiger
face to face.
What will you do?
I know you.
You will hold out
to the tiger
on your bare hand
a small globe
throwing light at all angles.
And you will tell the tiger your dreams,
and a special thing
that only you know.
And the tiger will come close,
press her muzzle to you
– if she were not a wild creature
you would swear
it was a kiss.
And in her turn
she will tell you a secret.
For a long time
you will share each other’s eyes.
You will go away
pad, pad, pad;
and when no one is looking
you will wash your fur
with your rough tongue.
And the tiger
will tell your dreams
to her babies.

Michael Swan