Monday, April 26, 2010

napowrimo # 26

The 26th prompt is to take an abandoned poem, and rework it.   For some reason unknown to me, I'm compelled to keep coming back to this poem.  This gives me a chance to look at at again.  After today's revision, is it now a finished poem?  Maybe, or maybe not - there's still something about it...

Goodbye to Elephants

Down the road in single file,
dust blurring our sorrow,
slow plodding round feet on planks
into a boxcar leaving forever,
and the band plays on unaware.

Drum, calliope, creak of cage,
stubby parade and lift of tents
defined spring. Then, offhand,
they weren’t coming back;
how could it ever be summer again?

We’d connected with elephants,
with their still eyes following us,
with surprises of sloshed water,
with musk, straw, slow litanies
of rumbles, trumpets, snorts,
huge swaying to ancient rhythms -
(we thought they were pleased to
be in the circus)

perhaps we knew even then
we’d look for elephants
the rest of our lives.

              Wanda McCollar


  1. Hmmm. Makes me think about connection with animals, overall. I am remembering the moment I connected with a deer: one specific one at The Deer Farm near Flagstaff. I see her eyes repeated. Very evocative, Wanda. Enjoyed immensely.

    Read my Day 26 poem here:

  2. I think they are very sad creatures.Even as a child I hated zoos and circuses.You describe them very well.Good poem.

  3. Very poignant observation, we thought they were pleased. Reads very well.

  4. Wanda,
    Excellent description of elephants. I have never liked circuses either. it was never the animals though it was the creepy clowns.

  5. Go and see them in Africa, Wanda (if you haven't). You can watch them for hours and the fascination never fades.