Today's poem is by John Talbot
"I represent the elephant," mouths his trunk,
Which has lassoed out to greet you, and before
You can manage a word, that rubbery hose has filched
Your bag of peanuts. "I'll see to it, of course,
That he gets these," and coils back into the maw.
No help from that pair of housewives on the roof,
Beating the dust out of the broad throw-rugs
Of elephant ears; nor from below, where four stumpy
Umbrella-stands divot the mud. Those flickering
Sequins that stud the creased and serrated prairie
Of elephant's flank, the scavenging parasite flies,
Broadcast high-pitched contempt for the indifference
Of the management towards its oppressed dependents.
Behemoth expanse later narrows, all at once
To a shoelace, a rip-cord, a heartstring-thick whip,
Cracking with mock-heroic petulance
At horseflies, stoutly ignorant of the bulk
To which it appends.
Where, then, among all these parts,
Where to look for El-Ephant, that wizened elder,
That dour four-footed buddah, that Ancient of Days,
Who stands with the patience and fixity of an oak,
Flesh scored with rivulets from the rain and wind,
Bearing up under the weight of his unforgetting eyes?
Copyright © 2005 John Talbot All rights reserved
from The Well-Tempered Tantrum
David Robert Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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