has taken up residence on my doormat,
no ordinary elephant. When the hall dims
how his body, patterned in gold, shines.
I whisper to myself he’s a moonchild.
A flower stems from his uncurling trunk,
another blooms from the leaflike lobe
of his ear. His eyes are a series of rings,
on his ceremonial coat: semi-circles,
suns and stars sing, bracelets decorate
his legs. He brings festival to my house.
Elephant, you who remember everything,
hold birth parties, swaddle your newborn
with motherlove, take care of the sick
in your tribe, rage when you’re upset, mourn
your dead with funerals, cover their bodies
with grass, weep silently, I welcome you.
In the pit of night when chill and anxiety rove
you wrap me in warmth, lull me with a sense
of security even though we both know
no one, nothing is safe in this life.