no photographic evidence

Napowrimo day 24


I’ve come back to check on a baby one, not long birthed. Just after dusk I’m lumbering down a muddy road in the rain, past rows of shackled sufferings, their hearts swaying quietly. I’m always amazed at their numbers. I was here five hours before, when the sun was high and hot scathing on the bent backs of the exposed sufferings. Some of them are able to shelter, but i hear them.

Walking now, I can barely see the path in the glow of my phone’s flashlight. When the wooden fence post stops me short, I point my light down and follow a current of rainwater across the concrete floor until it washes up against three of the largest of them. A fourth hovers above the surface, tethered tightly by a short chain and choked by a ring of metal spikes. When the suffering tires and puts her foot down, the spikes press deeper into her skin.

My second to latest suffering is four years and two months old, still a toddler as sufferings go. This one wears the spiked chain because she tends to kick. I keeps her on the spiked shackle only during the day and takes it off at night. But it’s night now.

I ask on this nighttime visit, why her chain is still on but there is no answer.

I check on the latest one I left here, make sure it’s still here.

I come at night, when no one can see I’m gone to the place where I left them all. I come during the day, when I can get away.


definitely not a haiku


Link to the original article. Elephants


Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

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