Lion Lights

1

September 15, 2015 by The Citron Review

by Jacqueline Balderrama

 

—after Richard Turere’s invention to protect livestock near the Kenyan savanna

 

We may never know what it is like for a predator to enter our gate and drag away              the cow
We may never know           what it is like to be the predator
found in the grass           then dragged into town by our hind paws
hearing this is my territory           /That is yours

Here the compromise           in a modified car battery           linked to lights       running           off solar
Here after so many shunned scarecrows hung
dewy and limp / At night           torch bulbs flash for the lions
glinting off their eyes, glinting off           the dull cows’ eyes

So the lions move toward zebra foals / The boy
enters in the morning with feed and draws the milk / We want to say
to ourselves: the lion is a burglar           is a drunk driving his car into our           tree           is a mortician
who steals your dead cornea / But no

The lion           is a lion           is a lion is a           word / We don’t know
what a lion is outside           the cage the channel or the big cat rescue farm
How otherwise is it           are we outside the lion / Sometimes we’re just
straw stuffed in our old clothes           sometimes we move

 

Jacqueline Balderrama is pursuing an MFA in poetry at Arizona State University where she teaches and serves as Poetry Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. She is the first place recipient of the 2012–2013 Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize and has received several Piper House Fellowships for international writing residencies. Her most recent work is forthcoming in Blackbird among others.

 

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One thought on “Lion Lights

  1. […] I think it’s important that we find compromises like Richard Turere’s invention in order to protect people, livestock, and natural predators. The poem is available here: “Lion Lights” […]

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