Not Necessarily A Road

—Millicent Kellogg

The images fill in quickly through a ten thousand mile lens.
The elephant is so close the nooks and crannies of her gray skin
Touch my outstretched fingers, and her hooded eyes look back to
See if there is danger to the promising beauty of her baby.

Submerged in the pond, fat black squares of hippos – every other one
Rolls over with pink belly protruding, making a giant chessboard
For the leggy gray and white birds to hop around and over each other
Playing a game like tiny feathered knights and pawns.

The measureless veldt provides singular umbrella trees to shade
The dozing lioness and her cubs, their kill waiting to the side.
The trees hide sensuous giraffes, necks coiling around each other,
White cranes spread their wings to balance against the wind.

The Toyota careens across the rutted trails made by buffalo
And wildebeests following in single file for a millennia.
A faint cry of terror to the driver “Nicholas, you’re driving in a drainage ditch”
And his pleasant reply “Yes’m, it is not necessarily a road.”

A theater of love and death has begun on the horizon.
The baby antelope has been caught by a jaguar to feed her cubs.
A cheetah protects her triplets against the baleful hyenas.
At the river’s edge a crocodile snaps a zebra in half..

A wind funnel of vultures touches the ground and breaks apart.
Squabbling, they shred steaming remnants – gone in twenty minutes.
They stalk about, cleaning the grass table for the next meal.
Slick bones are scattered like table settings, to be used if needed.

The far away horizon mates with the distant edge of the earth
And streams of clouds trace the trail crossings of ancient wandering
All creatures who endure that savage savannah know where
each terrace and track leads: roads wash out, threads of memory stay.

One thought on “Not Necessarily A Road

  1. A wonderful poem, full of mirrorings. I especially like the way the clouds form streams in the sky, balancing with the rivers below on the earth. Beautiful.

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