After that comes a tiger

walking through gardens similar
or the same as
my Grandfather's on Inwood
circled by cedars
shrubs lining sandstone paths
traveling off to deliver a message of war
thinking that merely to assemble all the soldiers
to outfit and train them
move them to the place of war
would take years
then the battle
then the deployment
the war would go on for 19 years
noticing that as I am walking through the garden
I am being followed
by something in the underbrush
beside the path
at first I think it is a small bug
then a cat because it seems bigger
the shrubs now more like brush and bush
then I think a lion
instantly after that comes a tiger
I realize
upon the verge of waking
that I am dreaming a tiger
still dreaming
I think of what Borges said
that when you are afraid
you dream a tiger