Paper Veins

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Between ochre sunset and glittering mirror,
mother and child stand.
Between the two; an elephant, calm as the river
and warm under hand.

The water cleanses the three. Sand squelches under toes.
Small fingers caress the rough nose.
Later, its head and back are donned with rug and cap
of cardamom and indigo.

Plodding down the dusty road, feeling the strains
of the cracked earth beneath.
And all of this frozen within the paper veins
of the leathery leaf.

Forever is the elephant, now fragile and thin,
depicted in brush strokes on silvery skin.

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