A lone fishermen spits,
(ripped jeans, bristled beard,
hocked loogie feeling
his birth marshes
taken from him under glittering stars.
Officials in crisp suits came,
Beach Boys vibrating the jeep
they chortled ‘Not your village anymore,’
old man’s chiseled age lines
ravines flowing with tears.
Salt smell strong,
his pet flamingo once splashed here,
Baobab trees swaying in the breeze,
tourists with cameras on necks.
No catch no money,
so he hunts, splintery musket in hand,
on land he mustered up on.
People named him Poacher, Bum,
of their park
his home, wild
I see his gunpowder, hard
sea of grass whipping his back,
seeds on his pants, seeds in the air.
I see your giraffe purse with its spots,
ode to the fisherman, ode to national parks.
This poem is about the creation of national parks and protected areas in eastern Africa, and the forced relocations (and surrounding issues) that often occur as a result.