The last push

the last push

Cool evening creeps
in huffs and puffs of dancing dust.
Dry season starves the plains of green.
-Gold gleams,
luminous under the grey of winter skies.
July sweeps across the arid wasteland
of the Serengeti.

The threat of rain, pock- marks the dust,
caked hides are beaten clean of sweat and stink
in groans and moans of pleasure.
Sound ignites the dusk. All is noise-
as the adolescents bawl the sun to sleep.

The sky clears to bush fire red,
fear is instinctive but repetition
stills the dread and common innards of the herd.
Shaman heads and horns silhouetted
against the clear sky, black on red.

The old bull sleeps on tired feet,
his pulse beats down the days
to challenge and retreat.
On the velt a lion creeps,
but rear-guards insure no strays
are left in the moving wake.

Now they sleep,
tomorrow they face the river,
death in dragging jaws,
crushed and pawed
beneath the hooves of brothers.

The last push to the lush green pasture plains
of the Maasai Mara

-Dave Kavanagh

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