Donal Mahoney


Zambezi in Zimbabwe


River rafting in Montana
is a fine way to spend
your vacation but it's
not the same as
river rafting in Zimbabwe.
No Sir Ree, Bob!

You can roar down
the Zambezi River
on a big raft with other
tourists hoping
to get away from it all
in the splendor of Africa.

A thoughtful man,
your guide in the Safari hat
will explain before you
hit the water that your raft
will indeed flip over
at some point

and when it does
he says you shouldn't
worry and swim for shore.
No Sir Ree, Bob!
You should stay right there
in the washing machine

of rapids bobbing
up and down and wait for
the other guide in the Safari hat
to pull alongside in his motor boat
and pluck you out of the water
so you can live

to write something like this.
This is what guides
on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe
do for a living- send you out
on a big raft that will flip over
so they can save you.

But they're not in a rush
because didn't they give you
a life jacket and a crash helmet?
However, if you're in a hurry
to reach land and choose
to swim to shore

across the beautiful Zambezi
the way you may have swum
across a river in Montana
you'll discover close to this shore
that you are lunch for one
of many crocodiles

who wait in the still water
six feet or so from shore.
The crocodiles make a living
waiting for tourists who swim
ferociously like Diana Nyad.
Two chomps, maybe three

if you're a pleasantly plump fellow,
and then digestion begins.
You and your crash helmet
and your life jacket will
need a day or so to
convert to crocodile dreck

and dissolve in the Zambezi.
Whatever your faith,
believe me, it will take effort
to re-assemble you
in time for the resurrection.
Yes Sir Ree, Bob!

Submitted: Monday, September 09, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 09, 2013

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