In the morning sun, he is lime green
under the big banyan tree off the veranda.
In the papers, the world sings of him;
they love large men of large deeds;
it is no different here.
He eyes the six-toed cats
that mill around him absently;
he loves them, every one.
They steal along the porch,
curl about his ankles,
lick their paws assiduously.
The lizards keep to the rooftops
and the trees.
He drifts naked to the pool
she had installed while he was gone
shooting pigeons with the men on
fishing off the
"Take my last two cents, why don't you?"
he boomed as he threw down the pennies
that lodged there in the wet concrete
to remind her again and again
to honor him and be more frugal.
Fingers of Spanish moss hang
limp in muscular branches.
Soothing the wounds
of body and mind
he slides under the water, counting,
a big marlin tugs at his mind.
In the thick afternoon,
bottle of gin in hand,
he climbs to his lion's lair
above the pool house,
draws the rope bridge in behind himself,
reads what the columns say of him today,
"hero," "coward," "man's man,"
"the bravest man I ever met," said one,
trailing women in his wake."
He paces, leopard to zebra skin and back,
trophies out of
the pain won't let him sit.
Now and then he stands cat still
staring to the future;
gin eyes tinged of shotgun shells,
he pens a word or two.