To an African elephant

Stomp loudly. Walk with grace. Eat
hundreds of pounds of grasses per day.
Wallow in it. Own your size, proud to be
the largest land mammal. Swim often.
Watch for predators lurking in the jungle.
Fight with your tusks and win with your weight.
Poachers will count your worth as ivory:
don’t believe them. Never forget loved ones
who have gone before you. Pause in reverence.
When the African savannah grows heated, when
drought threatens your livelihood when hippos
threaten your young, walk trunk to tail and beat on.

Poem by Anissa Godfrey

I have been previously published in North Central University’s literary journal The Wineskin. In 2015, they published a fiction piece titled, “Invisible Ink.” In 2016, they published a creative nonfiction piece titled, “First Dates: A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I became Senior Editor of The Wineskin in 2017. Additionally, I was chosen by an outside judge to be North Central University’s Senior Class Poet, an honor which allowed me to read original poetry at Baccalaureate.

Photo by Rudolf Kirchner