Stepping ever so lightly
among the smoldering volcanic debris
she departs

Her massive, yet nimble body quivers
as a deceptively soft coat ripples
beneath perfectly coordinated musculature
The hunt went well today

Long “saber” sharp teeth
drip with the blood of her kill
The cubs will feast today

Exhausted, this great “cat” can ill afford to linger
Open ground near recent eruptions
attract all manner of marauding mammals
Including her own kind

She is not the last
but might as well be
These islands are no natural home
for such wide-ranging predators
and the monkey men won’t arrive
for over ten thousand years

How did she get here?
The question is irrelevant

Alert and on the move now
yet fatigue finds fault in her next step
with a suddenly sharp
searing pain

She springs with lightning quickness
and even lets our a rare yelp of surprise
as the leathery-tough surface of her foot pad

An imprint
pressed forever
into future stone
for the monkey man to find
and fancy
forming this fable
in an entirely other millennia

Will he too
be burned from this place?
Will he also
leave some kind of lasting imprint?

The great “cat”
of so long ago
couldn’t care less