There are three kinds of ivory:
The living tusks,
The bones returned to earth,
The hunter's prize.
The elephant neither flees nor fears
A time when he will not raise up
His tusks in celebration of
The spirit that enlivens him.
The earth is conscious only of
A great unbroken chain of birth and death;
She receives the tusks with patience
And molds them into breath again.
The hunter finds an isolating surge
Of momentary glory,
Which serves to sever him
From the natural order.
©2018 Michael Fraley
Back to Poem-O-Rama