The lions smell her fear. One climbs
on her neck, others cling to flanks.
Claws dig into hide, teeth grope for flesh.
The elephant plods, heaves, thumps,
whips her trunk — can’t shake them off.
Away from the herd, helpless, she slumps.
Dusk darkens. Before the silence
of death reverberates through the hills
the huge herbivore, one last time,
collects her strength to stand.
The evening echoes a thunder
in applause — rain follows in reprieve.
The elephant limps away
from the startled beasts.
Copyright © – Dr. Uma Asopa 2006