Of Elephant Turds and Poets
by Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch

_______________ after Philip Dacey

The ten-year-old insisted
it was a blob of tar
but her father knew
it was really an elephant turd.
Her mother thought of water buffalo.
This was, after all, Pittsburgh.

It was not, really,
that their existence was mundane
but the father could only imagine
elephants in poems and zoos
and thought reality
could use a passing elephant
at least once in a life.

The mother wanted
Asia in dreams
the hairy humped backs and spread horns
of water buffalo
moving through rice paddies
in a slow steady trudge
plowing deep through mud and green watery furrows...

The child was firm.
This was Pittsburg,
the oval mass of piles
on the side of the road
was tar, and traffic
was picking up, rush-hour
zooming in. Time
to get off the road.

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