Babette Deutsch

July Day

The afternoon sways like an elephant, wears 
His smooth grey hide, displays his somnolent grace, weighing 
The majesty of his ponderous pace against 
The slyness twinkling in an innocent eye. 
An infant born to the jungle, this afternoon 
Elsewhere reached its mammoth magnificence, 
Achieving the delicate play of a palace creature 
With which it moves. 
Moves, yet those giant limbs, the hours, 
Scarcely seem to stir. 
Prehensile as leisure, the pleasure triumphing here 
In the procession of summer balances 
The sun in hiding, the moon, hidden. 
Before those grey knees sink 
A gaiety like the glint of ivory slides 
Lightly along the sky. This elephant afternoon 
Winks at the glory of which it is part, 
And bears itself with patience. Soon 
It will be trumpeting.