Three unattended elephants
march down Depot Street with
a tux cat tugging at their heels.

We admire this impromptu parade
but wonder where the cat belongs,
whether someone cruel has dumped it.

The elephants park at our café.
Their vinyl hides look duller
than paint on abandoned sheds.

Their trunks writhe with discontent.
We’d share fragments of scone
with them, but they’d bully us

for slurps of our Sumatran coffee
and we fear that would remind them
of the jungles of their native land.

Maybe these aren’t real elephants
but papier-mâché simulacra.
Have they dropped from black ops

helicopters to protest fraud
in our recent election? Fact-
based folks know that neither

elephants in Depot Square nor
voter fraud is real. But here stand
the elephants, looking worried.

You think they’re fake, but still
possessed of a sense of smell
I assure you they’re authentic.

The tux cat nuzzles up to us.
It wants the elephants to obey
its tiny but powerful commands.

We can neither enforce nor deny
those commands, but offer a crumb
or two, which the cat understands.

The elephants walk away, maybe
back to India to resume
their work in the timber industry.

We look at each other and agree
to take the tux cat home forever
in memory of this modest event.