I watch a herd of human water buffalo go by,
within my vision, their grunting asides and laboured movements sway and swing
one way, and to the other.
The leader is coolly cautious;
he does not need to show any fear,
he is the preferred leader of the pack,
he wants to project a pretence,
that being gruff and strong are characteristics to savour,
these traits are none to fear.
They propel the herd forward,
ahead is the direction they belong.
Then in the back, a hissing,
some whispering from lips of babes,
Why are we here
Why is he so arrogant,
Why are we made to be upon his haughty page?
He cannot believe this backstabbing;
he immediately knows what to say.
Off with you,
find your own protection at night where your heads lay.
If you can find a leader with half the courage and care of myself
you’d be very satisfied girls,
but my being is deemed unworthy of your wishes to stay.
Now succumb to the unnatural emptiness,
because of your betrayal of he who holds himself with required pride to lead many.
Wailing from the adolescents,
who believed they would be perpetually protected
for their days ongoing
but really, their future suffering is merely karmic retribution,
for speaking poorly about a loyal male who’s been
present for the entirety of their lives,
though, his true intention is not to banish,
not to abandon,
but to teach a lesson,
before their permitted return to their rightful stations.
Human buffalo are like any other herd,
there’s bickering and discussion,
sniping, but love also,
emotions warm and not untoward.
Perhaps they even secretly embrace and snuggle,
it wouldn’t surprise me, buffalo are fuzzy enough,
to want to share their struggles and heartfelt forgiveness,
a human buffalo in its own urban wilderness.
And after some nights and days alone,
the teens are welcomed back into the herd,
soft weeping into hair of fine gold,
spinning tales of how being alone was so trying and difficult.
Their tears turn them into wise women,
they became learned through the experience,
sheer fright from being in a pair,
only belligerently spat words of suffering and plain blank stares,
they learned, they learned,
to adhere and accept.
They lead the pack with him,
a wise male buffalo lead by two young women,
with an understanding that strength is required to contend with
unseen issues, problems, and incorrect suggestions.
© 2020 Lauren M. Hancock. All rights reserved.
All images signed “LMH”
are copyrighted 2019-2020 by Lauren M. Hancock
and all rights reserved.
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