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  The Loose Fish Chronicles
  Excerpt From a Memoir in Stories  by Beverly A. Jackson
 
  •  The Green Dress — 1960
    Fancy Soaps — 1961
  •  Dreams and Dreads — 1961
  Sleeping With Marilyn —1961
  The Bermuda Triangle — 1963
  Old Bucks and New Wings — 1964
 
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Elephant Walk

I pull a steamer trunk on wheels
trailing a series of satchels,
queued like circus pachyderms.
In them, wrapped in tissues are
Mother's bruises, hand-me-downs,

tender  troubles in an old kit bag,
the missing teeth in Samsonite,
the broken tusks of family forays,
saved, polished to a high gloss
by the pumice of her daughter's pity.

In my mother's china cabinet
a procession of old ivory
elephants in graduated sizes
parade — yesterday’s treasure,
today's silent trumpeters.

They will come to me someday
bundled in boxes, an inheritance
of our foreign travels, but for now
I journey slowly north, away from
the intensity of her southern skies.

Even in my sleep, a caravan plods,
tail to trunk, across my heavy bed.
Their wrinkled withers — like my own
pale & marbled folds — lumber
toward a boneyard of relief.

 

 
   
   © Beverly A. Jackson, 2011
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