My Rhino


There are many in the water-hole who love to swim

but it is my rhino who anoints the mud.


Many like to rant and bellow

but my rhino’s sighs are a secretive poetry.


My rhino has no knees

and a hide studded like a hell’s angel’s jacket


but the taste of her is bedevilled by biting flies

and her great horn


is no stone torch

but soft inside as human hair and nails,


easily sawed off its bloody stump,

powdered down for precious

precious money.


The sights of a rifle are super-acute

but my rhino’s eyes are deep and, like a horse’s, dark.


There are many maps to fold and unfold

but my rhino’s are invisible and durable as memory,

musk-scented empires.


There are many mothers

but my rhino is the fiercest.


None can outrun

a bullet.


Pippa Little