by Twila Newey
Who among you will dispute?
close affinity between Ruminants and Pachyderms
Their rudimentary molars allied, to slowly, steadily chew cud.
Their shared propensity to wander toward deeper shades of green
Lush fields move in wave, like water
Consider this horizon of grass
Consider a young one separated from its herd
Longing for seas and shepherds
Seeking a bond hidden by various degrees
Whether sheep or elephant,
We care for the young who miss the mark
Consider a flash, soft, white in
the midst of green
Consider the weight of a young pachyderm, grey
slung across your shoulders
having one hundred of these thoughts,
and losing one of them,
which one of you does not leave
the ninety and nine
Unconsciously seeking propinquity of descent
In deep green memory
In oceanic waves of grass
TWILA NEWEY received her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University. Her poetry has appeared in Rust + Moth, PoetryBreakfast, Summerset Review, Two Cities Review, Inflectionist Review, and is forthcoming at After the Pause and The Cape Rock. She has also completed her first novel, a portion of which won publication in the Exponent II Midrash Contest. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and four children.
Author’s Note: These poems grew out of a paired reading of The Origin of the Species and The Christian Gospels. The italics are borrowed lines from the two texts.
Photo: “Elephant Skin” by Eric Kilby