Reading ‘Elephant’

By on Mar 3, 2013 in Poetry

Purple page saying 'E is for Elephant' with an elephant

A sight-reading child,
I thrilled to the image
sheathed in a word— 


the elongated contour,
the tall l, h, and t,
transporting me to an African 


to baobab trees and a striped big top,
a sequined gymnast in arabesque
on a blanketed, thick-skinned back. 


of the preposterous—who created
your enormous folds? That thousand-
muscled trunk, your euphonium call? 


imagined such cleverness, your two tons
of brawn balanced on legs like pillars?
And yet, in our flawed world, you were 

            not prized.

Consider de Brunhoff’s bowler-hatted,
green-suited Babar, and Hannibal,
whose passion for war led you, 

            gentle behemoth,

across the Alps, exploited
your instinct to charge, your
fierce facade. Your roaring 



Poet Laureate emerita for the small seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts, Suellen Wedmore retired from working as a speech and language therapist to enter the MFA program in poetry at New England College, graduating in 2004. Her poetry has appeared in multiple publications. Her chapbook, Deployed, won first place in the Grayson Books annual contest, and her chapbook, On Marriage and Other Parallel Universes, was published in 2009 by Finishing Line Press. She has been awarded first place in the Writer’s Digest rhyming poetry contest and first place in the Rambunctious Review annual contest; she was an international winner in the 2006 Atlanta Review poetry contest. In 2007, she was selected for a writing residency at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. Recently, she was a winner in the Obama Millennium competition sponsored by New Millennium Writings, and three of her poems were nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


  1. Wonderful, delicious and very satisfying. Congratulations

  2. A weaving of childhood and maturity.

  3. SueEllen ~ This is such a delightful poem ~ rich with life and love ~ not to mention well written ~ ^_^

    Couldn’t read it before ~ had not internet service for a week!