When I become a Rhino

I’ll fill out twenty-fold, grow solid as an anvil.
The horizon of me will cross the far savannah,
My mouth will grow wyd, keratin thicken upward.
I’ll develop rough-bark, tarmac dermal armour
to deflect the sharpest barbs, keep out harm.
Askari wa kifaru will wheedle grubs’ soft bodies
from my mud-cracked skin, some the hurl of shit,
they’ll shriek the stalk of lion, the poachers’ click.

My lips will grow long and soft, pluck the grass,
ruminate on its sweetness, taste the succulence,
roll it between molars. My tongue will be slick
with its juice and molten with the sun’s beat.
I’ll stomp along the groove of my own walking,
drum rocks to dust with relentless three-toed feet.



Sue Spiers has been published in print journals (Dream Catcher, Orbis, South and Stand most recently) and on-line (Atrium, The High Window and Ink, Sweat & Tears – free read) 3rd place in Battered Moons 2019. Sue tweets @spiropoetry.