By Carol Matos
I tell the child about northern Kenya,
how when the rivers run dry, animals
must drink water or die. The Samburu
tribespeople find watering holes
under the sand and while the shepherds
herd their cattle, the warriors chant songs
from deep within the wells. Their music
strays across the dust-red plains.
The cattle learn which song is for which well.
The child tugs on my arm, crying out
she’s thirsty. I give her a full glass.
She takes one sip and pours the remains
on the floor, saying, change where the river
goes and you change the flow of everything.
Carol Matos’ collection of poems, The Hush Before the Animals Attack, was published by Main Street Rag. Her poetry has appeared in The Comstock Review, ROOM, Columbia Journal, RHINO, and The Chattahoochee Review. She was a semifinalist for Spoon River Poetry Review Editors’ Prize, and nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize.