Our water ran out
On the second day.
The time of the year
Was wrong, for rain
And its gift of tepid pools.
Nor did any river run
In all that barren waste
Wherein we could search
For wet sand.
In all that God-forgotten tract
Only the anachronistic baobab
Offered us succour, which we gratefully took
Hacking away at her bark
And chewing the moist pulp beneath
Almost forgetting the war, in our greater need.
Finally, the task was done
We walked out, to the waiting truck
Which we attacked
Drinking the rusty water, from its radiator
And the milky abomination
In its tyres
Amid the ineffectual protests
Of the driver, who remained hunched in his cab
Rather than mix with us madmen.
But he took us back to base
To running taps, cokes and beer.