By Amare Poeta

When I was younger,
I loved to watch documentaries.
Among the many animals I started a love affair with,
I loved the wild lions of the savannah.
I saw beauty in the silent ferocity of the resting beasts,
The calm calculating precision of stalking their prey,
The effective death trap of jaws to the jugular,
The scary sight of blood on their faces and paws as they yawned,
And the sweet melody of thunderous roars…

On a school trip to the park,
I finally saw a real live one!
It sat in the classic postcard pose.
The only difference was,
Instead of seeming silently ferocious,
With piercing eyes, and a proud disposition,
It looked Irritable, unsettled yet lazy and bored.
It seemed at ease surrounded by the uncharacteristic city noise,
Unmoved by flashing camera lights,
It yawned, it didn’t roar!
Satisfied with the skinned meat of genetically modified grade cows,
The wild beast that was at the head of the big 5,
Sat, complacent and disgustingly apathetic!

In spite of what I saw,
I believe that somewhere in my wild savannah,
The lions I fell in love with roam, hunt, feast, and live,
In unashamed acknowledgment of their true self,
Fierce, wild, instinctive and resourceful,
Just like how my Africa should be!

A concerned African