Returning Home

Exquisite photography by Nick Brandt

Who will inherit the dust
after weightless ghosts
finally fall under swirling clouds,
where once mighty shadows
walked on crusted earth.
All will soon be lost like dried reflections
in still lakes
to join the halo of hoofed prints standing visibly
as relics of the past
in the rubble of wasteland’s
grit and bones;
grazed lands bulldozed by long necks,
craned where the giraffe would stand tower high
to machines, where
visual echoes of elephants walking through grass
become archways of elephant tusks –
a legacy of brutal remains,
killed by man’s hands –
now held by man in reverent pose
to spur magnificent footsteps to death
inside of an elephant cathedral,
perhaps to join with them in mourning,
or so that we might better understand
and stop the apocalypse
this time around.