This poem was inspired by a kid who never did homework and often distracted the other students while he avoided all the work—a want-to-be comedian, who seldom made it through class without being sent to the office. Most teachers eventually struggle with one or more like him.
There was no warning.
“What’s it like to have sex with an Elephant?” the adolescent asked.
He didn’t even raise his hand.
That’s what the future elephant fornicator said In an English class with Thirty-four silent, stunned expressions.
His face was pale and bloated,
Old and mindless
But very much in charge of chaos.
What’s a teacher to do
While teaching the use of commas?The solution
Was an hour’s work
Writing the referral followed
By after school phone calls
Sherlock style to find the illusive mother,
Who said, “My son has no problems
With his other teachers
So what are you doing wrong?
He said you’re mean to him!”
When I called the elephant fornicator’s
Other teachers and read the comments
In the permanent file,
The truth reveled itself
Like a colorful Picasso painting.
The elephant fornicator was in trouble in every class.
The mother lied,
and he should live at the zoo
With the fabricating caregiver
Who rocked his cradle.
Since I was so mean to the kid,
Administration moved the elephant fornicator
To another class where he terrorized that teacher
While basking in laughter.
With this ‘elephant fornicator’,
It was a game
Called musical classrooms.
One day he might host the Tonight Show.
At the time, I visualized the elephant fornicator mounting his fantasy by grabbing a pachyderm by the tail and climbing. Then the object of his lust would sit on him leaving a bloody scrambled-egg mess—a blessing in disguise. If I could have found an elephant for this loony Kafkaesque comedian, I would have. He must be thirty now. I hope he didn’t sire elephant half-breeds. The schools don’t have doors or desks wide enough.
His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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