Kai Moon's Dip - Poem by Sheena Blackhall
Hua! The mahout's toes tap Kai-moon's scabby ears
That flap like rudders in the slipstream heat.
The jungle hits you with a wall of warmth.
Elephant hide feels bullet proof,
A bursting horse hair sofa
Being carried on Kai-moon's back
Is to brush the treetops on a moving mountain,
Each ponderous thigh creaks in its curtain of skin.
Her footprints gouge out bowls in the ochre mud.
We reach a pool that is mosquito heaven.
The horizon heaves,
Kai-moon has stopped to drink.
The mahout nudges her and down we sink
Into the chocolate pool through man-high reeds
Like a house sucked into quicksand.
The water's now a handspan from my feet.
Burned charcoal-black beneath the tropic skies,
This Thailand matriarch enjoys her dip.
Her drowned trunk periscopes up,
Snorkels and squirts,
Swallows the murky water.
I pray she doesn't develop the urge to wallow.
She doesn't. Wet and dripping she emerges
Into the scorching day,
Swaying into the steaming, humming leaves.
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