baby elephant

no one wants to talk about
the little, baby elephant
that wandered into the room
some decades ago

only now, the thing
has grown to full size
and everyone has to move away
from wherever the elephant chooses to go

still, no one mentions it
if you start to do so
you’re quickly told
to hush

it’s as if everyone believes
that discussing the thing
will somehow cause it
to rampage and crush

it’s a bit more than annoying
since it’s beginning to wreck
anything and everything
that’s in the house

lots of nervous smiling
and changing the subject
you’ll hear no mention of the elephant;
we’re all quiet as a mouse

everyone brightens right up
when you share a fun story
talk about a new movie
or tell a funny joke

but when you try to talk about
the elephant (or the weather)
it’s as if you were never there
and you never spoke

you’ll get a lot of
blank stares, shrugs
mostly, a lot of people
turning away

you’d think that since the beast
is destroying their home,
they might have an opinion,
a choice word or two, to say

but you would be wrong
for all is quiet
except for occasional whispers,
so brief

once the whispering stops,
all sigh and go back
to whatever they were doing
with a nervous relief

it’s more than just
a little bit puzzling
it’s far beyond being
just strange or odd

having everyone assure you
that we’re alone in the house
with a wink, a smile
and an anxious nod

this is all doubly,
if not triply or quadruply so…
or even to the power
of twenty-one

the elephant is angry,
bellowing loud, all the time
and people have been crushed;
more than just one

maybe it’s something about
how i was raised
or a skill that i never knew
that i needed before

something as big,
as destructive, imposing
as an elephant… to me…
is impossible to ignore


©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell


From the black book of horrifying, awful, terrible things that will keep you up late at night and drive you to drink too much, Out On The Killing Floor

Out On The Killing Floor, poetry by Kevin Trent Boswell

355 pages, available now on Amazon


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Elephant photo by David Blackwell

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