Monday, September 23, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Zambezi in Zimbabwe

River rafting in Montana 
is a fine way to spend 
your vacation but it's 
not the same as 
river rafting in Zimbabwe. 
No Sir Ree, Bob!

You can roar down 
the Zambezi River 
on a big raft with other
tourists hoping 
to get away from it all
in the splendor of Africa.

A thoughtful man,
your guide in the Safari hat
will explain before you 
hit the water that your raft 
will indeed flip over 
at some point 

and when it does 
he says you shouldn't 
worry and swim for shore.
No Sir Ree, Bob!
You should stay right there
in the washing machine

of rapids bobbing 
up and down and wait for 
the other guide in the Safari hat
to pull alongside in his motor boat
and pluck you out of the water
so you can live 

to write something like this. 
This is what guides
on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe 
do for a living--send you out
on a big raft that will flip over
so they can save you.

But they're not in a rush 
because didn't they give you 
a life jacket and a crash helmet?  
However, if you're in a hurry
to reach land and choose 
to swim to shore 

across the beautiful Zambezi
the way you may have swum 
across a river in Montana
you'll discover close to this shore
that you are lunch for one 
of many crocodiles 

who wait in the still water
six feet or so from shore.
The crocodiles make a living 
waiting for tourists who swim
ferociously like Diana Nyad.
Two chomps, maybe three

if you're a pleasantly plump fellow, 
and then digestion begins.
You and your crash helmet 
and your life jacket will 
need a day or so to 
convert to crocodile dreck 

and dissolve in the Zambezi.
Whatever your faith,
believe me, it will take effort
to re-assemble you 
in time for the resurrection.
Yes Sir Ree, Bob!

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