Snow Leopard

At the end of a long career
scaling cliffs and trudging
through drifts the mountaineer
can claim but a single sighting
of the legendary elusive feline –
and that during a total whiteout
when only its spots were seen.

Next day the blizzard subsided
and he traced the paw prints
to a cave where once abided
a mother with cubs, judging
by the tiny gnaw marks left
on the bones strewn about
on the floor of the den.

So wary of humanity,
averred the summit master,
that just one glimpse of me
and she relocated her family
to a distant mountain range
wherefrom rumours of lost
sheep eventually trickled out.

Amid craggy peaks she roams –
if the tales one hears be true –
a cat who knows many homes
hiding her young in icy caverns,
alert for intruders climbing up
the valley slope, coward crouch
and killer scent roped together.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.