the wild kingdom

things are rough
out here on the savannah. lions lie
in wait and watch with lazy menace
as slender gazelles prance
or skip nimbly by, ankles buckling
with their own delicacy. beside them
stolid musk ox tramp
leaving their heavy hoofprints
in the mud, while cheetah and jaguar
climb trees and sleep in the shade
until their unsuspecting dinners
come to them, and giant snakes
can hardly wait to drop
out of branches to provide
a rude awakening to any
passing warthog.

I’m no springbok, I’ll admit,
but you, sir, are no King of the Jungle.
those gorgeous gazelles you’ve
got your eye on
will just use their long legs
to run away from you, and the sad-eyed
ibex will crane her tender neck
to look the other way. I may be
about as enticing as
a red-butted baboon compared
to those alien, elegant creatures,
but at least I know my place.

if you should ever need me
I’ll be with my kind,
wallowing in the mud
eating my vegetables
and biting tourists’ heads off
just for fun.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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