Thursday, June 21, 2012

Elephant Passing

They killed an elephant
the night before we arrived in camp
slayed her for
the slender tusks God gave her

On a certain ridge
when the wind moves
we smell her death

And I am angry at her killers
stupid opportunists
driven by their poverty and lack of care

But not so much

It's the hidden men
lusting for her ivory
shielded by walls of privilege and power
that light my ire

This is an ancient elephant trail
the small spoor tells us
there are babies among this family
that recently travelled by

They must miss their sister
or auntie
or mother

And the leering, lusting men
are safe

The One who made her
is moved

Yes, He who watches
over fallen sparrows
and fading lilies in a field
marks her grave
and speaks

"Don't be fooled.
  On the day we meet,
  Don't think I won't remember."

-lisa, June 2012


Nina said...

That's such a sad story.

My husband and daughter (normally resident here in N Ireland) will be travelling to Arusha tomorrow, from Iringa en route to Burundi. I was reminded that that's where you live. I think they are hoping they may see some elephants along the way :)


Anonymous said...

What a very painful and sad reality. Beautifully written.