Dear Madame Elephant

photograph by Cheryl Merrill

photograph by Cheryl Merrill

Chobe River, 2012

Dear Madame Elephant:

There is a hole in the space between us, filled with thrown dust. You stare down your nose with a don’t-mess-with-me look, but I am describing things in my language, not yours. Yours is a language of thunder, trombones, and a low, rumbling growl. Your breasts are full; your child hides behind you. We have come knockata-knockata noisy around the corner in a vehicle now halted before you. How quickly we became silent and supplicant, waiting with immobile slightly bowed heads, as you sample the scent of our intentions. We are watchers watching each other. Your eyes are deep brown pools. Your benevolence is the most important thing to us. We hope you will bestow it upon us. Dear Madame Elephant, what would you tell us in our language, if you could. Or did you already tell us: your forbearance louder than our beating hearts, louder than words.

Sincerely,

A Thankful Human

4 responses

  1. Whew! Scary and heart-stopping for a moment or two (which perhaps felt like an hour) while she made up her mind.

    1. It DID feel like an hour! I know you’ve had heart-stopping moments, too!

  2. Oh, I just want to read this out loud and roll the words and feelings around on my tongue! So beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Anna, this came out of a writing prompt at Melissa Febos’s class.

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