The Giraffe
by Bob Bradshaw

Here where the slightest edge
in speed can save a life,
the giraffe moves slowly.
Her tongue is as agile
as an elephant's
sensitive trunk,
stripping leaves.
She lives on salads.
She moves with the slow
pace of a shopper
in Beverly Hills,
the savanna laid out
like a plush rug

Even at the waterhole
the splashed color
of the giraffe
rarely blurs. Others,
nervous, look for a
quick exit. But
legs splayed she
bends gently down
to sip from the cup
of water that is
the savanna's
watering hole.
Others belly up
to it. Muddied
they are unprepared
for the lions'

refuses to be rushed.
She is poised, patient. She looks
as if she could wait all day
for an open-roofed taxi.
She never appears
exhausted. She
rarely lies down.
From her height
wild dogs must look
like puppies. Hyenas
annoying dogs.
And lions are wary
of her deadly
hoofs. The giraffe
is rarely panicked.
She sniffs a bouquet
of leaves. She
slips her purplish
tongue into the

Copyright 2019 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.