Carol Ann Duffy


When I was small, I saw the circus elephants
on Blackpool sands;
a slow line of extraordinary sadness.
An elephant holds more anguish than a man.

We should not see them, except
where they choose to be,
in their grey empathies, their bulked knowledge.
They walk on song; gravity’s grave clergy.

They are perfect for the earth,
its emigrant distances, its pooled waters.
If the gods were to gaze at this world,
they would hazard elephants.