Elephant Cull


I had read

Of heaps of dead,

Mounds of slain.

But I saw them plain

For the first time

When they murdered

An elephant herd.

The flankers fell,

And the high swell

Of their sides

Penned the live inside.

One toppled over

On another.

At the end, a calf

Was hidden by the half

Moon-belly, of its mother

It stood there,

Trapped, and touched her

With its trunk

Up on the hump

It could not reach before.

The little head

Was held amazed

For some moments more.