Every night teacup elephants
emerge from my mother’s grave.
I love their dopey gait, that sway
like paper boats lumbering downriver.
The rapping of their feet like china
trembling at passing trains.
One by one I pick them up
and smash them on the ground.
My plan is to gather the pieces
and build a bigger grief.
One too big to squeeze
through death’s little stone door.
I will ride it around town
like the Emperor of Weeping.
What a good son! people will say.
Just look at his bandaged hands.
Todd Dillard‘s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Hobart After Dark, Barrelhouse, Sixth Finch, The Offing, and The Adroit Journal. His debut collection of poetry “Ways We Vanish” was a finalist for the 2020 Balcones poetry prize.
image: MM Kaufman