Expertly carve each timber leg,
mould its mighty tusks
and with light brush strokes add its tail
hanging absurdly from its beached whale bulk of a body.
Then clothe it in a fine skin etched with the wrinkles
of countless imagined years.
And when you paint its deep set eyes
it will look back helpless
with its flat body sadly shrunken
unable to call to the rest of the herd.
So slam your brush in the centre of the canvas
and spread paint regardless of shape or colour
until the easel hangs heavy with its
Step back, and as the paint dries into a thick hide
a face emerges with a wink
then it raises its trunk,
a clumsy stroke you made half by accident,
and waves before galloping across the savannah.
And in the morning it will return
with bananas for breakfast.