Zambia

by Paul Rawlins

When Mason was a boy, he says,
A boy and an old black man
Could walk savannah pastures
With the wildebeest and zebra
Days and days on end.
They walked without a pace,
Ate to fill their bellies,
Slept when they grew tired,
Nights in long-stemmed yellow grass,
Or under baobab shade in afternoons;
Closed their eyes
Without the need to dream
In Zambia.

God was in the bush
The sky was never ending
The land was never ending
They listened to the lion speak,
Squatting at the fire
With darkness at their backs,
Traveled with the herd and learned
The ways of zebra play,
And a kudu
Silhouetted in the dusk
Or a mamba in the grass
In Zambia.