Her trunk grips the brush, dips it
again and again into black ink---
sumie on the canvas of her mind.
Look, the curve of her back is rising,
its segments arcing across the white
rectangle tacked to a rough easel.
Now the swag of her belly emerges,
and we are swept into the rhythm of
a trunk tracing the air between canvas
and ink, her brush quivering with
concentration, reverent in her intent
to arrive at the exact intersections of
haunch and legs, until all four stand
in right relation. Next, the curled
question-marks of tail and trunk appear,
and now a sudden shift to scarlet ink,
a different brush, and a flower opens
on the end of the black stem rising
from her elegant trunk, a flower she
is giving to herself, brilliant in the
garden of her dry and dusty keep.
© by Penny Harter.
Used with the author’s permission.