Journal of Writing & Environment

“The Elephant Shrew”


is neither elephant nor shrew, but could be called

epicure-insectivore or—more to the point—

termite-guzzler for her taste in drywood squatters

which, in anteater fashion, she flicks in her mouth

with her tongue. Misnomer, she roams the driest steppes

of southern Africa, hopping on spindle legs

and twitching her elephant nose en miniature

like a rabbit, though she is more compact, with ears

papyrus-thin and eyes ringed with white to set off

an astonished look, fitting for the one Adam

misnamed, whose identity slips from language’s pin.