The drought persisted. Mornings he would stand
Among the hogs on one leg, balancing
Half sunk in that rich filth he had to probe,
To peck at curd, extending his thin neck
As if for slaughter: Bird, who having not
Invented justice, charged no violation,
Claimed no dignity his need could shame—
Just bird alone, who came at dawn, cried out
And went on feeding. By late afternoon
The offal in his feathers dried. He preened,
Puffed his warm breast wide, then circled off
Across the cow kraal, raising a harsh cry
From dung to heaven. Sought no witness, made
A job of drift between baked laterite
And fertile sty: flew fast, as if his wings
Could scrape the bright rust from an arid sky.
Harvey Oxenhoni