The Jungle Boys — K.Hunt

The jungle boys crouched in a pocket beside the road
Frozen by awe and fear
Watching the dust dragon
Quiver over the bridge
Past the village

For each morning of the last several
A pearl, pearls had fallen from the Willys

And after it had wearied of its roaring
After the path came back down
The jungle boys emerged
To wipe eyes clear
Then scramble-paw in the dirt for some, or more
Of the pretty orbs alike
Those the soldiers pushed
That day
When they hunkered and laughed like bushmen

Across the bridge
An exited shout could displace a sceptical old woman
Mothers, grandfathers and aunts came
To shoo pigs
Maybe themselves pull at the earth with their toes

When all were collected
The boys tried to return
The dragon’s dung
Which must at least be lucky

They stood at the edge of the path
With their hands held out
To reveal the tiny, glistening spheres
Dodging sweet bits of coloured stone
Tucked in noisy water