Hippo Not-icly Mine! ~ A poem by Dale, a survivor of Rift Valley Academy, Kenya
There's a hippo in the corner of my room.
Strange, I hadn't seen it there before.
But once I had bumped into it, I swear
I find it quite impossible to ignore.
I've noticed, others manage to avoid it,
but now aware,
It's like a magnet to my mind
I have a penchant just to stare.
How strange, but now I know it
It's enormity is clear;
And I can't deny the mess it's made
or how long it's been there.
There's a hippo that is growing in my room.
But, when I try to speak of it I find
That everyone just stares at me so funny
and treats me as if I had lost my mind.
Dad denies that such a thing could even be real
"imagination plays such tricks, and twists the things you feel."
"There's loyalty in silence" the Rev says,
"For to suggest that there are beasts in holy places might
destroy the witness".
Brother says, "It's better not to speak of it again;
for it came so long ago and memories only bring you pain".
And Mom maintains her silence. She doesn't have to say,
She wishes I would quietly just spirit it away.
There's a hippo that is taking over my room.
It's true. It will happen and quite soon.
If no one else acknowledges it, I swear,
I just might be the one to disappear.
And though maintaining some concern about my mental health,
My family and friends conspire to save me from myself.
How dare I be so selfish, so inconsiderate,
as to bring it up
Hippos are so inconvenient.
And having learned to live with it this long;
Why should I care about reclaiming this space of my own.
Yet, I think that I shall try besides
This hippo's getting rather hard to hide!