I balance downward on the wooden steps
Clutching the sturdy gnarled rail
In darkness with no flashlight.
Somehow I find the path
And wait for the two headlights
That signal the jeep with the driver and guide.
They arrive early but late for my anticipation.
I hoist myself into the jeep.
Patience gradually envelopes me,
For the entire day is ahead,
Expanding into a lifetime.
The heavy air lifts with the light
That delineates the firmament,
A New Eden with species of flora and fauna
Too abundant to name.
They dart, hasten and fly through a pastel
Not quite Paradise the angels had begun
But not finished the night before.
I sway blissfully through the unfinished,
Relieved that I can Google the names
Of the birds and beasts identified.
To write them now,
I would need to release my clutched camera
And risk its dropping from the bouncing jeep
As I scribble notes that the bumpy road
Will render unintelligible.
My pupils search for the miracle
But not intensely, for the afternoon is yet before my gaze
And the monkeys' chatter pleases me
Even if they are anxious about what is not a miracle to them.
The afternoon is covered with a muted balm.
Hoisting myself into the jeep is easier now with practice.
We start on the same road with the same bumps.
Suddenly we spy the miracle,
Robed in amber and onyx,
Courageous stoic and solitary on all fours,
Cloaked in drowsiness to our advantage,
Sated and now satisfying our hunger.
“Silence please,” I whisper,
Then motion so as not to be a hypocrite.
The guide and driver nod politely
And continue to murmur.
My eyes are daggers, one thrust into each murmuring mouth.
The miracle in amber and onyx ambles into the grass,
Deep and deeper by the shallow stream,
And collapses into a sweet sleep in the soft emerald
Amid eager and agitated shutter clicks.
“Why,” I seethe, “were you not silent
For this most reverent of moments?”
My angry tears seep into the tumbling raindrops.
Drenched, we jolt and bump our way to the riverbank.
“Will we see another?” I snarl through gritted teeth.
“Maybe,” they answer with dubious and guilty faces.
“We had better...but will a miracle cross the road in the rain?”
Slight and sympathetic shaking of heads incenses me.
The jeep lurches closer to the river.
The rainfall intensifies.
“Will we see one at the river?”
They do not answer.
I strive for gratitude
At seeing monkeys
And the pride of elephants under the banyan
For which they had been quiet
At my wrathful insistence.
We turn away from the river.
“Is there any chance we will see another?”
They do not answer.
Their faces are blank.
The guide in the jeep ahead signals.
My driver and guide motion that the miracle is crossing.
“Now you two be quiet,” I hiss.
They nod. We advance.
Amber and onyx again traverse the road, gleaming with raindrops
And are gone.
They ask if I am happy.
“Very,” I reply. “Thank you.”
They sigh. We all smile.
updated by @nancy-e-wright2: 09/13/18 06:16:14PM