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Wilda Morris


The placemat zodiac

identifies me.
I stretch my limbs,
rub my fur coat,
scratch my claws
on the table.
The green booth
spreads out
into a plain.
Here and there trees
sprout up, bear leaves and fruit.
Rocks and craggy cliffs
create shadows.
Light fades. Hunger
jabs its finger
into my abdomen.
I slink from my hiding place—
ears alert—stalk antelope
heading toward the river. 
I am ready to pounce.
The waiter sets a plate
of Kung Pao before me.
From Szechwan Shrimp & Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant (RWG Press, 2008).
Used here with the author’s permission.

Wilda Morris is President of Poets & Patrons of Chicago. She has led the poetry workshops at the Green Lake Christian Writers' Conference in Wisconsin the past two summers. Her first book of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published by RWG Press. Wilda Morris's Poetry Challenge, at, provides a monthly contest for other poets.


Post New Comment:
William Marr:
Hope you still go to China Chef often to enjoy your Kung Pao Chicken and write more fun poems of tiger or lion or chicken...
Posted 06/06/2015 10:42 AM
Very creative and fun!
Posted 03/28/2012 07:11 PM
Love it Wilda!! A surprise ending!
Posted 03/28/2012 04:31 PM
So alive Wilda. I sure enjoyed reading it.
Posted 03/28/2012 01:32 PM
What fun, Wilda! I can almost hear you roar. Phyllis
Posted 03/28/2012 10:22 AM
Great start to my morning. thanks.
Posted 03/28/2012 09:27 AM
Wonderful, Wilda! I am not surprised to find your poem here! I enjoyed reading your book. It seems there is also another poem in there about a tiger.
Posted 03/28/2012 08:30 AM
Marilyn L Taylor:
Very vivid, Wilda.
Posted 03/28/2012 07:59 AM
What a fun poem! Love it! Makes me want some Chinese food right now at ten minutes to seven in the morning!
Posted 03/28/2012 06:48 AM
Kay Sanders:
Wonderful, Wilda!
Posted 03/28/2012 04:44 AM

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