Thursday, April 21, 2016
50 years in chains, Raju, 50 years,
stolen from your mother as a baby,
her cries screaming across the desert
as the truck sped you away,
long years you endured being a street elephant,
made to "perform" day after day.
Your back legs were chained with spikes
that cut into your flesh.
Fifty years of unendurable pain.
Yet you endured;
you had no choice.
You lay on concrete, in despair,
in hopelessness, in unending misery,
no grass to walk on,
no tree boughs to reach,
no other elephants with whom to speak,
so hungry, you ate paper and plastic.
You had 27 owners, and none were kind,
were poked and prodded to wag your trunk,
and beg for coins to feed your keeper.
(How can my heart hold so much grief and despair
at how far we humans are from understanding
how to care?)
When your rescuers came by night,
your "owner" argued.
While they fought to free you,
they say tears rolled down your face,
as you realized the impossible had happened,
and your rescue was at hand.
You walked painfully onto the truck without hesitation,
not knowing if this 28th life would be better or worse,
just knowing anywhere would be better than this.
For you, the miracle: a sanctuary,
where you were fed and bathed
and your painful chains removed.
Raju, you will never
be chained again.
(I apologize for the ignorance of my species,
that you and so many others
endure such lives.
How can they not know how deeply you feel?
How can they not care?)
You had lost your faith in humankind
and it took time to learn that some of us are kind.
Your minders are patient and gentle
and love you well, so now you have no tears.
At last, you know the freedom
of walking grassy trails,
eating grass, lying in your bathing pool.
You love sweet things and apples,
and can have your fill.
Other elephants walk with you,
your low rumbles to each other
expressing contentment at the change
that has come into your life.
(Now our tears are for the others,
still in chains.)
In the world of my imagination,
(something that will never happen
since humans are such a sorry lot),
not one animal is chained,
each one free to be who he or she is meant to be.
This world will not evolve until
each human understands
animals feel exactly the same emotions:
joy and pain and sorrow, hope and despair,
love, devotion, grief, loyalty and fear,
source: Wildlife SOS film
Daily Mail news article
You may donate to Wildlife SOS, who have rescued many abused elephants, and are working tirelessly to rescue many more.
for Fireblossom's prompt at Real Toads: a poem with an elephant in it.