Sandy Solomon: Lost, Departed, Late

Heartbreaking. This is what poetry is for.

Vox Populi

In the Serengeti four elephants rest without heads,
bodies rising like boulders from the plain,
their slight, curling trunks uprooted beside them
as buzzards fall and, greedy, rend,
and day spreads, red, automatic, rifled.
Watch for a long time the great, gray hulls
hacked at the neck, intimate loads of muscle
and blood overflowing the ground, a rose 
that shocks the drab olive-brown scrub 
and ground and glistens on the moving beaks.
Oh where are the long, bony foreheads,
thin wings of ears, mouths that seemed to smile
while chewing acacia leaves or grass,
debonair tusks jutting like stiff, white mustaches? 
Where the bag men, where the keepers?
Ask the horizon, empty of gesture.
Ask the browsing chorus that always arrives in time.

Copyright 1996 Sandy Solomon. First published in Pears,
Lake, Sun by University of Pittsburgh Press. Included in
Vox Populi by permission…

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