My Les A Murray parody

An Absolutely Ordinary Elephant



An absolutely ordinary elephant makes tracks

to the breeding grounds of India

stops off to raid the Frost Free, terrorise

a few local farmers. Now that

forests are a vague memory (even

to an elephant who can't forget)

he finds beer and Sang Som liquor

absolutely to his taste.

Maybe he could cry, but doesn't.

A decade past he blundered into their lotus pond

which was wrong, very wrong -

the instinct of the more stupid Buffalo.

Imagine: picking cashews from the tree,

playing soccer with the kids,

sleeping off a feast

under its shady branches.

Cousins, midwesternised, collegiate,

grow into men,

make homes with wives and calculator brains.

Then, come Sunday

the mothers call in the herd

in shopping mall gardens

so air-conditioned the plants are Alpine evergreen,

where they all come running,

rich and poor, mainly the poor;

when an elephant, absolutely ordinary,

blimp-like, pink and perfumed

takes off over the parking lot,

pursued by the very young.

God of all good fortune

cheered on by traffic police.

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