Saturday, March 3, 2012

Room for Elephants

I’d like to get a dog.
I think I would -
if it weren’t for the elephants;
if it weren’t for tricking them out
all the time for hide and seek,
the exhaustion of dress rehearsal,
memorizing lines and stage fright.
So many costumes;
starched collars or petticoats –
so many syllables to hide
in the camouflage,
in a hint, a glimpse, a glance –
or the play would end,
the house go dark.

A dog will tell the truth.
Elephants don’t talk,
just rub against my legs,
lick my face, follow my lead –
doggedly discreet; who sees them
plunk a paw on my knee
when the curtain lifts,
when the lights go up – warning me.
I used to love hide and seek,
but I remember now
that we had to lock the dog up;
he never learned to play.
He gave us all away – first thing –
barking out our hiding places!

Photo Credit:
Lynette Shelley, Google Images


  1. Indeed dogs would not allow anyone to hide, that's true! But they give so much in return for love. (But no thanks to elephants. LOL)

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  3. Great opening two lines set up the dilemma here. I found this tough to read Ann (in the best possible sense) - I felt the struggle, the exhaustion,- 'so many costumes'etc - to keep up the play and then the not wanting to be discovered but shot through it all the desire for something truthful and loving.You handle the ambiguity and mixed emotions beautifully. A wonderfully subtle piece.

  4. Avril,

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments on this poem. I didn't link it to any of the usual poetry blogs. I think I am pretty much talking to myself so often. I do not communicate the deeper meaning very well and am discouraged. I don't really understand the entangled ideas that make up the poems but they have convinced me of the truth of statements by writers that they don't know where words and ideas come from. They just bubble up from an unconscious realm. I am thrilled that you understand.

  5. It is not necessary to 'understand' poetry, but to hear the song is important.
    I can follow you and I love the convoluted path you follow.

    I really like this poem, it reminds me of a Victorian panoptikum.

  6. There is room for everything. ~Mary

    ps a dog will tell his truth.