This pretty creature playing on my patio sent me digging through my file of old poems to find one I wrote back in my corporate days. The talented (but devious) co-worker who inspired it was transferred from department to department, always welcomed enthusiastically by each new supervisor, then just as eagerly passed on to the next one, until everyone was wiser and there was nowhere else for her to go.
I watch from a distance
as she changes from one color to another,
selecting with uncanny accuracy
the shade she thinks
you’ll find most appealing.
She leaps from branch to branch,
directing your attention
to the ripple of movement
she has created
in the otherwise quiet bush.
through her stirring of the shrubbery,
that you look at her,
and she looks back through heavy-lidded eyes,
defying you to see anything
but that which she chooses to show you.
The image she presents delights you,
and it makes you vulnerable.
Predator disguised as prey,
villain as victim,
she invokes your trust
and begs your protection
from vile birds and beasts
that neither understand nor appreciate
her whimsical nature.
Her antics capture your imagination.
I know. I understand.
I, too, have watched her
frolic among the leaves,
and I’ve responded to her reptilian charm
in much the same way you do now.
Her emerald animation has enchanted you.
Such is your fascination
that you wouldn’t hear me if I spoke
nor believe my words if you heard them.
I wish I could tell you what I’ve learned.
I need to explain to you
that my spirit bears the scars
of a hundred little lizard bites.
Instead, I watch from a distance,
as the mud-brown, scaly thing
hides behind vivid hues
and lures you ever closer.