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“Thoughts of an Old Rogue”

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I remember the first elephant
I experienced in Kenya.
I’ve seen dozens,
even hundreds in years since,
but that first one
remains vivid in my memory.
Standing alone,
he was not part of any herd.
He was a rogue,
an old bull
standing alone,
as if waiting.
We came too close
and he didn’t hesitate
to charge us.
Recently, more than once,
I have pictured his furious rush toward us.
The truth
is that I feel a growing affinity
to that old rogue.
I, too, grow old
and increasingly unfit
for any of the herds
I have known
and of which I was once a part.
I need to admit something else,
as well. It’s getting far more difficult
to stifle the urge to charge
when others get too close.
I just wish I had that old bull’s bulk,
or at least his tusks.

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