Thursday Poem

On David Attenborough’s Possibility of Grief without Anthropomorphising

The problem for the scriptwriter is being human, desperately seeking proof in the lay of a trunk, the nudge of a mother’s foot against her child’s cracked hide lying in the dust and drought, flies swirling helixes in the air. What should we make of her refusal to move, the others who keep moving toward the horizon’s dull shimmer? The stretch of an elephant’s foot contains muscles capable of interpreting vibrations through the ground. How do we measure the frequencies of our loss? A raised leg, a pointed toe, the nudge of a mother’s foot. Even though you have been gone for two years, my mind continues to stumble over your body, the quick pause of surprise, my mother’s stubborn refusal to leave your side, the lack of sound where your breath should be. When they find bones whose bleach they recognize as their own, a herd will stand in a circle together, faces gray, vibrating low moaning syllables as the sun and shadow, like a rib cage, expand.

by Jared Beloff
from Contrary Magazine