By Catt Kingsgrave-Ernstein

You could tame Lions.
This I know from looking in your eyes -- your gentle hands
Have never liked the feel of whip-leather
And yet,
You could ride Tigers
And I can tell from poise and careful words
That saddle straps and bits and spurs
Are far beneath your skill.
Your skin and scent discourse and force a compromise
Finding diplomacy in danger, sympathy to savagery
With just a look
You could command Dragons
And face their Sturm and Drang unflinching,
Till the tantrum fire and lightning wore away to grudging silence,
A lowered head, and ruby eye opened to your
Patient reason.
Wolves walk at your heels,
And scent a mystery in your mastery
You, no player in their policies, seem still to take the prize
And when the grizzled Alpha tests your mettle 'gainst his rank,
The contretemps is meaningless
And brief
When you sleep you pillow your head soft 
Against the dark-starred flanks of leopards
Who purr their sphynx-like dreams into your eyes,
Which there remain after you wake
No Hercules, you -- No Aristotle.
No Lion of Nemedia draped empty on your shoulders, 
Denoting stolen force,
Neither wilting laurels of blind men's blind worship
You stand too tall for either
But Eagles sing your worth to Heaven's vault,
And Sparrows light and laugh upon your shoulders,
Knowing you can live with me.


I am what is typically called 'a difficult woman'. I am capricious, catty, defensive, and nasty when provoked or frightened, or even jumping at shadows. I learned cruelty as a battle tactic at my mother's breast, and brought into adulthood a full battery of deeply rooted disfunctions. And somehow this MAN has managed to stay with me for nearly 20 years now, even though he's seen the very worst I can be, and often taken the brunt of it, just to keep others out of the storm. My Beloved is a Great Man, and everyone who meets him knows this is true. He means so very much to me that in 20 years, I have never really managed to capture even a fraction of it into words. He's simply too big to fit into metre or rhyme. This is the only poem I've ever written which comes close to standing on its own.