Sally Festing: New Territory

Beneath my tiger-top, well, breasts,
skin, muscle and bone but they’re old hat.
One longs to be more than body, to fill
one’s wildest dreams. It’s that
tiger-top from Fakenham’s Sue Ryder shop

worn every day for a couple of weeks
that frees. £2.95 keeps me so alive,
empowered, with more pride than I’ve known
since current chaos got me down.

O wavy stripes of black and gold,
gathered in a transverse band, I’m loosed
in this human jungle, solitary,
endangered, and my hour has come. But spruced
up, I’m a star, like tigers are

when they get what they desire.
I’ll race through trees with eyes behind
and not be recognised.
Pattern, my body. Glint, my mind.