Pat Jones

High School Pride

by Susan McLean

Sleek in their strength and beauty, haughty, lithe,
prowling alone or stalking in a pack,
they cut down herds of victims like a scythe,
then search for fresh meat, never looking back.
The world is theirs, and all the grazers in it.
They cull the weak, the callow, the unwary.
The pack itself can change at any minute,
for all alliances are temporary.

How fine to be the hunters, not the prey,
to ambush, wound, or take down all they see.
Yet we, their hapless quarry, would contrive
to be as cruel and merciless as they
if we could share in their ascendancy —
not noticing how few of them survive.

Susan McLean teaches English at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poetry collection The Best Disguise, which won the 2009 Richard Wilbur Award, has just been published by the University of Evansville Press.