Here We Are Again

Initially—after we ended—
our elephants were surprisingly
nimble, marching away
separately
to cast their shadows over
other turf, other pathologies.

Because they were mavericks
no one knew to whom
they belonged: no microchips then,
no dog tags. Promises of peanuts
and swigs of Coke did nothing
to goad them away from destroying
what we built with others.

Instead, they roamed,
their cadences
slowing only when they pleased,
their waxen trunks searching
the hewn grass
for water
like eels tied to anvils

until we find them,
grab their tethers,
and pull them—
vise-gripped—
back home.

 

Inspired by mindlovemisery’s Wordle #30 and Yeah Write’s prompt: When did our elephants leave?

*respectful constructive criticism is always appreciated. I’m just hopping back into poetry again.

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18 thoughts on “Here We Are Again

  1. “Our elephants were surprisingly nimble”—great line and in terms of relationship issues (elephants in the room)….leaving one relationship does not ‘fix’ the elephant so-to-speak….they are indeed nimble….so it’s a brilliant image/metaphor too 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed the interplay between the concrete images and the abstract feelings/thoughts. The second stanza is particularly fine on this, with the coke and peanuts and the “what we built with others.”

    1. Yes! I meant for the elephants to be the issues in a relationship. They can fit in a living space for a while, but eventually they need space to roam. Thanks for your kind comment!

  3. Hi Nate!
    I never feel sophisticated enough to comment on poetry, much less write it! (Though, I’ve done both).
    That said, I like reading poetry that speaks to me. Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes complex. Your poem does both–the feel and scene draw me in and I find new layers each time I read it over. I loved the last stanza and most specifically, the word tethers.

    1. Thanks, Michelle, miss seeing you around lately. How are you?

      Yeah, poetry can be intimidating. I think of reading and interpreting it as being the same process I take when I listen to music, which I don’t find intimidating at all. I know what I like when I read/hear it.

      Some lyrics and rhythms speak to us; some make us change the station.

      1. Hi Nate,
        I’m good! Just super busy…I finally wrote a little something last night to dust off the cob webs.
        I totally get what you’re saying about lyrics and rhythms. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver. She speaks of simple things in beautiful ways and my head doesn’t hurt while reading it 🙂

  4. I like that you took the yeah write prompt into something deeper, and the Wordle prompt seems really fun. (This is my first time coming across it). I really liked how you ended this by pulling their tethers and dragging them back home. That created a strong image for me.

    1. The Wordles are fun, but difficult to incorporate into a piece and not stick out as foreign objects. I used another set of Wordles when writing “The One-Two Punch.” When I gave the version to Silverleaf for feedback, she circled all but 2 of the wordles with the note “Word choice?” Ha. I need more practice. Did words stick out in a bad way for you in the poem, Marcy?

      1. Hmm, maybe “anvils” if I think about it, but I just went with it on the first read. By the way, “goad” played a big role in my elephant Gargleblaster, so I thought that was a cool coincidence that it was in the Wordle prompt.

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