Shelter
Cheryl Snell

Shadows striped with light
fall across the shade-seeking tiger.
A caterpillar swollen with butterfly
dangles from a banyan branch
laddering backward into ground
that feeds it.

The hard earth cracks, opening
like arms to the prodigal root
latching onto its second chance.
In the plunge underground,
any fissure widens.

Between tendril and trunk,
the tiger settles into its green
cage with nothing else to do
but bat a great paw
at painted wings lofting
above the split-skins molt.