ZOO ELEPHANT

by Julie Dickson

Gray skin sags over a large frame,
skin and bones, you might say.
I’m not allowed to graze, forage
as nature intends—I wait.
They throw dried grass, sticks.
I amble over to the pile slowly
as my feet are sore and cracked,
pavement hard; it’s been so long
since I felt dirt and grass beneath.
Where are the trees for my itchy hide,
branches to pull on, pungent leaves?
I crave to wander; my eyes close.
I see my herd, ears flapping, rumbles
through the ground, joyous voices,
but when I look again, I am alone—
lonely and penned in, no herd here,
just the loud voices of my captors.

 

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