Monday, 7 September 2020


by Gabriella Bedetti

A herd of jostling heart-shaped leaves,
elephant ears seek the sun.
The dark-veined plants sway in the wind,     
collect water in their cupped leaves
then bend and spill
the rain, a drink for others,                                                    

like their graceful namesakes
who use their trunk for a shower
or flap their velvet ears
to keep cool, spreading them wide
on each side of the head
to look larger in the eyes of the world.

In lush rainforests, parades of elephants
revel in water games, wrestling,
romping in mud baths,
the older elephants teaching
the young ones manners and
how to control their temper.

Nearly as long-lived,
I go bold, astonish                                                      
in Red Rules the World lipstick,
a nodding look-at-me drama queen,
the matriarch drawing on memories
of droughts and survival,

the others walking behind me in single file.

* * * * *

Gabriella Bedetti's essays, poems, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in New Literary History, Still, Gravel, Asymptote, Ezra, and Rhino. She is a professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University. She received an Artistic Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to work on a poetry collection exploring issues of aging and ageism. With two student assistants, she is leading a Collecting Memories Circle at a local retirement community. In June, you can find her blogging on She and her spouse are translating Henri Meschonnic’s poems from the French.​

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant analogy! I'd forgotten the title, so the surprise was fresh.