under the acacia tree,
warming in the morning
sun, the stag lion
pandiculates under
burnishing African skies

hunger reminds him
he is alone, though
go-away birds
sing out from
the branches.

he rises, and feels
the earth respond,
though he is weak
and wounded, having
been cut in combat

he was the last of
his pride,
the rest having run
away, or 

he inches silently 
through the indifferent grass,
compelled to hunt, 
though little prey remained

soon, he would be too weak

soon, he would be the prey–
torn flesh and bone
under the acacia tree–
and the go-away birds
would sing 
his song

just once more