Stopped at the tiendita
looking for gifts.
Found one among
the flowered
huipils and pillow cases
a work in clay
atop a shelf where
a prowl of jaguars stood
fierce mother
one cub in mouth
the way a housecat
hauls her kitten
into hiding
a second cub riding
her back, mother’s face
no kitty sweetness
but lips pulled
taut in growl while
holding her tender grip.
She knows what it takes
to live in the jungle.
Don’t fuck with my kids.
I know her language.
She knows mine.