lenten journal: april fool


    the prank pressed
    deepest in my memory
    is my frantic father
    wrecking our breakfast
    with warnings of an
    elephant stampede

    (it helped that we lived
    in Africa at the time)

    I could picture the
    pachyderms pounding
    their way to Lusaka
    and was beginning
    to feel the tremble
    in the floor when

    he smiled with his eyes
    followed by a full-fledged
    laugh that let the
    elephants evaporate
    into the vapor of
    myth and memory

    that april fool’s day
    was the closest
    they ever got to town
    I have listened every
    year since, thankful
    my dad keeps laughing



    1. Wow. When were you in Zambia, Milton? My husband and I lived and worked in Choma for two years in the 60’s and loved the country and the people. We had no elephants nearby in the southern province, living on the line of rail. But snakes and small antelope were around much of the time. What a beautiful place. Thanks for reminding me of that stretch of time and that part of the world.

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