On the Road from South Africa to Botswana
When the speed limit slows,
you know they’re coming up:
school children in bright uniforms,
goats, cows, sheep, and donkeys,
lots of donkeys, grazing, pulling carts.
The ratio of donkeys to riders varies.
I saw one cart with no passengers,
five donkeys and just the driver, standing,
a dude, sporting a kind of sundowner hat
with bells around the brim.
At five-to-one, he was really tearing along.
Still, cars, trucks, buses whizzed past him.
Perhaps, he thought, “One of these days,
I’ll get up to speed, join the modern world.”
Well, that’s what I would have thought,
up there, precarious, sporting that jaunty hat.
More likely, though, the actual driver thought,
“My dears are frisky today. I should be right on time.”
—Third Wednesday, Spring 2012; & Poetry Atlas.