Temple Elephant

November 2, 2010
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Gray cumbersome behemoth
Amidst towers of white and gold
The minuscule two-legs rushing past,
So wrapped up in their lives
They fail to notice
The wise ancient gaze
Of the elephant
Following them and lingering
On the spot they disappear.
Some wander up to him
And with permission of his warden
Offer fruits and coins and other things
Hoping for some blessings
From the elephant god
By serving his distant kin.
Standing all day, watching, watching
The elephant shuffles his tired feet,
The white marks on his forehead crumbling away,
The hateful chain still not yielding.
As the sun begins to set,
He shuts his eyes and ruminates
On people, faces
Who caught his eyes that day.
Then he feels a gentle tug,
Repeated harder, harder.
He opens his eyes and trudges off
Into the blood-red evening
Disappearing for the night
And the reappearing next morning
To watch again.

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