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The Elephants


Sarah Dowling

Published February 13, 2018


SARAH DOWLING is the author of two books of poetry, DOWN (Coach House, 2014) and Security Posture (Snare, 2009), which received the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Sarah has also published two chapbooks, Entering Sappho (above/ground, 2017) and Birds & Bees (TrollThread, 2012), and her writing appears in literary journals including Encyclopedia, Windsor Review, Line, and P-Queue. Sarah's scholarly book, Writing Against Monolingualism: Translingual Poetics and Settler Colonial Personhood, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. She teaches at the University of Washington Bothell.

Think of Dor, who was a big strong boy. You may
forget but I had been promised a pair of red boots

which were to come by mail from Tacoma. I had
been promised roses of Lesbos which turned a pallid

pink, and you may forget but my brother Elmer was
to bring them from Pysht, and I waited on the river-

bank dancing up and down and hollering with all the
long-buried passions of the South. Did the children

color their dolls? You may forget but in the pale
Gothic gardens, in the blood-red boots, my pretty

little red boots, they budded and bloomed and
withered all unseen, or seen by but a single eye.