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Mother Chimpanzee

Under the primeval canopy
A mother chimpanzee roams
Horse to her infant cavalier
With spear brandished high
To ward off
The unfamiliar foe

She stops
He falls
With hoots of indignation
Hurls stones in the heavy air
And in defeat
Drums the nearest umbrella tree

She smiles
At the Lilliputian swagger
Licks his white tail tuft clean
And the forage continues
Knuckles firm
Over the leached terrain
Parched
She finds a pool
And with a crumpled leaf
Soaks up water
Her son copies
But the leaves drown

The excited howl of a fellow primate
Urges the twosome on
Picking up speed
She leaps from the undergrowth
And glides through the aerial roots
Spirited by a forest fare

In a copse
The community feast has begun
She takes her place
Lets her son scamper off
In search of playmates
But not too far

The skies darken
Tired
She calls her child
Climbs the treetops
And falls asleep
To the lullaby of the African night

Mother Chimpanzee

Jane McAulay Wilson

The Peak, Hong Kong

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

I’ve never shown any writing publicly before. A bit scary but here goes… I saw this program about chimps on the telly and thought it would be interesting to write a poem about it.

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