Likkewaans are water lizards
marked with dark blotches and yellow spots.
You often see them up in dead trees
that are partially submerged in dam water.
I once kept one as a pet
and observed its serpent tongue
flick out before taking its prey:
a frog I had given it like a sacrificial offering.
Another time, during the winter cold,
I found it belly up and revived it
with the warmth of my hands.
When I was a child, likkewaans seemed magical.
My grandfather used to tell me
that a likkewaan could break your leg
with a lash of its tail
and that its fat could seep through glass.
Brett Dix has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and lectures English literature and poetry at the university. He is currently working on a collection of poems, which he hopes to publish soon.