Small herds of Two-Legs roll across the plain
and stop to stare at us in our domain.
They rumble in their giant metal hunks,
which belch the fumes that irritate our trunks.
These creatures demonstrate a lack of strength.
They seldom run, nor walk for any length.
We assume their eyesight is defective:
the flat things that they click must be corrective.
Why do they retreat from every shower,
since rain-washed hide will dry within the hour?
When darkness comes these creatures enter tents
and miss the night-shift intrigue of events.
As for their young, we’ve spotted precious few—
a doubtful future, from our point of view.
We shake our heads when Two-Leg herds arrive.
We have concluded they will not survive.
Barbara Lydecker Crane writes: “I wrote this while looking at videos of wildlife in Tanzania – in one, an elephant was peering into a tent with excited humans inside, whispering and filming; I had fun imagining that the elephant had been sent by his herd on a reconnaissance mission, and would report back to them.”
Barbara Lydecker Crane, a Rattle Poetry Prize finalist in 2017 and 2019, has received two Pushcart nominations and several awards. Her poems have appeared in Ekphrastic Review, First Things, Light, Measure, THINK, and many others. Her fourth collection, entitled You Will Remember Me (sonnets in the imagined voices of artists through history, with many color images of artwork) is about to be published by Able Muse Press.
Photo: “Addo Elephant Park, South Africa” by exfordy is licensed under CC BY 2.0.