Elephant

What will you sell me
for my pockets full of dust and ashes?
A ride on your captured elephant?
Two bales of hay?
The loaves and the fishes?
Me, who asked you
into my heart
to dwell in an acre of sand.

On deck will I dine tonight
eating limes
and salt pork from a barrel.
I must always remember
that we are no longer
on the S.S. Britannia,
but moving now by wind,
in a wooden boat
on freshwater.

We dipped below
the reflections on the lake,
our fingers trailing through their images,
turning close reproductions
to Impressionism.

Frozen over now,
these lakes in winter,
fed by the graceful Otonabee
where I live on stolen land
that is, like all captive elephants,
steeped in memories of beauty and freedom.

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