He cradled the homemade shotgun.
The barrel a stolen pipe.
The stock a stump he carved.
Gunpowder stolen a pinch at a time
Unraveled from blasting wire
Stolen from a mine.
There were only fifteen rhinos
In the whole park, the whole nation.
Odds were not in his favor.
But a single kill, a sawn-off horn
Would feed him, his family, a month.
Powder, foreign rich men’s medicine.
Handles, for foreign rich men’s daggers.
He didn’t care, the money was real.
His family was real.
Crouched there, in the dark
He put his family before the beasts
Rooting around on the brink.
How many men does it take
Making the same decision
To consign that species
To the history books.

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