Poems Inspired by Mwagusi

Leopard

Whiskers twitch at feathered grass
parting for her face,
yellow morning lights her eye.
Pelt flows pliant
over shoulders insinuated
between hillside boulders
where earlier, in darkness,
she climbed on silent pads—
the nightmare demon of baboons.
Soon she will recline aloft
stretched limpid on a broad acacia.
She’ll melt into light
and leafy rosettes—
druid waiting out the day—
so at one with the wood’s
sinuous contour, that we pass
unseeing, her dappled energy
pent in the tree,
flexed to spring.

© Polly Laszlo Brody.

Coming to Water

Smooth eddies whorl
over plated spines of crocodiles
waiting like stones, for antelope
coming to water.
Across the river
a leopard rasps rough as emery,
inhaling, exhaling night.
Baboons, treed dark clots,
bark terror.
And here, near enough to touch,
a genet cat,
its ringed tail banded with moonlight,
turns a pointed face toward us.

© Polly Laszlo Brody.