Dead Elephant Hair

The end of an African
elephant’s tail is hairy.
The hair is coarse and
strong, like fishing line.

On big game safaris
it’s traditional to cut off
the tail of your dead elephant
with a knife.

The bwana will take a
picture of you holding the
tail in one hand and your
knife in the other.

When posing, make sure to
hold the tail vertically:
bloody stump down,
hairy tip up.

Don’t let blood drip
onto the hair. Nobody likes
bloody elephant hair.
It’s very hard to clean.

Legend says wearing an
elephant hair bracelet
will protect you from
misfortune and illness.

It will bring love, health
and prosperity.
You only need two
or three hairs.

You can buy a
bracelet on eBay
or you can kill
your own elephant.

Tanzania and Mozambique
still allow elephant
hunting. But Zimbabwe
is the best place to go.

You will find an elephant
to kill about midway
between Bulawayo
and Victoria Falls.


© 2017, Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D.

Published in PoetryCircle, July 3, 2017

March for the Conquered

none of us can witch the springs of our oppression like this
heat extracting the search from our eyes
air still and quick like tempers in the summer of too many

months blowing out the details in a white burn
sunstare of easy answers so hot
toxins like cadmium yellow stain the treasures of true bonds

don’t let the day fool you, its chain falls off nightly
then fumble fingers find knots intimately tied held hold hold
when thunderheads scare off the season, with rolling clouds