I chewed the grass, warmsweet, and drowsed
to the bee’s lullaby hummmm…
Humiliation tasted bitter
mixed with dust and mocking laughter.
If you needed to steal fire
from the gods tomorrow,
would you really send
the triumphant tortoise?
He is a steady fellow: persistent, reliable;
But I am less hare-brained when the eagle’s shadow
grates its claws along the mountain flank.
Who would wager the tortoise would outrun it?
I stretch sinews and let fly,
Moulding muscles to the wind;
Sprinting with even odds against fox and hunter and hound,
Leaping streams that drown the smug-shelled.
My arrogance was my downfall, yet
I can learn from fables too.
Slow and steady stories could make tortoises complacent.
I won’t be caught napping twice.
Marguerite MacRobert resigned, after eight years as a lecturer of English Education (specialising in creative writing and children’s literature) at Stellenbosch University, to pursue her passion for art and writing. She has published in South Africa and internationally in various genres: poetry, short stories and accredited academic articles as well as a book chapter (Palgrave Macmillan), school textbooks (formerly Maskew Miller-Longman) and a successful blog. Her artworks are sold online. If people ask very nicely, and she is allowed to close her eyes, she sings funny songs and does somersaults on a trampoline.