The Elephant in the Room

I am not sure how to credit this photo.  All clicks led to dead ends. But I think it is perfect.
I am not sure how to credit this photo. All clicks led to dead ends. But I think it is perfect.

Ah, April. Does it mean spring to you? In my neck of the woods it means a weekly you-should-expect-this-by-now sloppy snowstorm. Just last night it was falling fat and fast and even though my heart sunk a little when it started, once I put on my music and started writing I found myself smiling each time I looked out the window.

April is National Poetry Month. I don’t write poetry as often as I once did, but I like to try in April to add some to my writing time.

Billy Collins writes in the poem “Monday” of poets, standing at their windows

“because it is their job for which

they get paid nothing each Friday afternoon.”

I stood at my window plenty last night. I may as well post a poem and get paid nothing for it today. This is a poem about distraction, how I tend to look right through a moment to something else that’s on my mind, and how, really, I don’t mind it one bit.

The Elephant in the Room

Right now I am in the elephant’s room.

She shuffles, flaps her ears.

I wonder if she knows I am here.

On a normal day it is my space she enters

and I watch her

and I wonder

What brought her to my room?

I am here to look her over,

search for clues to her behavior.

I will pull back one giant ear, then the other, peeking inside.

I will run my hand over her crinkled hide.

I will inspect her cracking toenails.

She is dusty, and it tickles my nose.

I can feel her power as I stand right beside her,

this massive, wrinkled thing

that follows me out of the room and into my car.

I was hoping this inch by inch inspection

would confine her somehow to her own space.

She makes me change the radio station if the song isn’t right,

follows me into my children’s school at end of day

into the kitchen as I chop carrots for dinner next to a pot of boiling water

into my bedroom as I turn the pages of a book, propped up on pillows.

She waits until I am asleep before she rests herself.

When I wake up she gives me ten minutes

before she meets me in the kitchen.

I stare at her, eyes half open, through the steam rising from my coffee.

I don’t know why she’s here.

I don’t know that I would like it if she ever went away.


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