My party hat broke 

by Marly Davies


I am sitting on a porch stoop wearing my favorite jeans –
(they were my mothers),
she is currently on Mars. 

I miss her and sometimes her absence
turns into elephants that sit
and watch me drink my coffee. 

She sends me postcards from
            time      to      time
 and when they arrive the elephants get to wear      party hats. 

They look at me and tilt their giant heads dawned in teeny party hats –
wondering, worrying.
Sometimes they sit on the stoop with me and we watch the neighbors. 

They bring their groceries home
and pick up their kids from soccer practice
and me and my herd of elephants in our party hats watch closely: 

we want to know who is acting.

The actors grow tails out of their lower backs and we point and giggle mischievously.
They try to hide them from us with shame
            dripping          from their movements – but it is too late. 

Everyone else gets a party hat
(there aren’t very many) –
and when the mail comes all the elephants turn to view me. 

and they hold their breath and close their ears
and hold each other’s feet.
Because elephants only have feet. 

and I open my mail in my mother’s jeans,
(my favorite jeans) –
and swallow every ounce of licorice my gut can handle.


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