Excerpt of the sonnet sequence White Elephants

[29] White Elephants II
We might've been better off somewhere else,
passing through in caravan, on elephant.
Here, white elephants seemed odd to us.
As if elephants they also show up as white,
my father said; he said these things a hundred
times: My children must become doctors,
a good profession for the immigrant.
Never fear the sight of blood for God is great
.
Those first years in Maryland we quoted him
nightly, as if hope would make us doctors
or repeating English words would replace
a former accent with none. But there was
always the scent of spices on our breath,
and bronze elephants waiting on the front steps.


From WHITE ELEPHANTS (Beacon Press, 1996)


 

Poems by Reetika Vazirani

Excerpt from the sonnet sequence White Elephants

English

It's Me, I'm not Home