The Guest

The Guest

He tramples on my azaleas,
barges right in— no ringing

the bell or hearty knock–
plants himself right beside me

on the couch. Of course. The old
tusker won’t leave me alone, rib-

bing, winking, and nodding my
direction all afternoon. When

guests leave, he arises, takes
long, final sip of tea, gently sets

cup on table, marches out the
room– the indentation on

the couch— the only proof
of his appearance— that pesky

persistent pachyderm who is
now more friend than foe.


This poem is an attempt to employ an old metaphor, specifically the familiar “elephant in the room”. Hope you enjoy it!  Linking with d’Verse Open Link Night Week 41, hosted by the incredible poet Brian Miller. 

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20 Responses to The Guest

  1. Really think you captured this metaphor very well. And the added imagery only enhances its effect.

    Very nice work with this.

  2. brian miller says:

    nice nod to the elephant in the room…i knew it at the pachyderm reference…and some are just like that…and no one says anything because then it would wreck the apple cart…though i may have a hard time holding my tongue…smiles.

    • wayside word garden says:

      I added in the pachyderm reference so it would definitely be a bit obvious– glad that it came through!

  3. hedgewitch says:

    Very clever, and all too true. We are able to ignore or accomodate the biggest of elephants, aren’t we? I love the opening lines, especially.

  4. zongrik says:

    also, like the white elephant gift we all want to get rid of next holiday…

    • wayside word garden says:

      Haha, those white elephants parties are a lot of fun… hadn’t thought of that in reference to this metaphor, but a good connection to make!

  5. ayala says:

    Cool….and clever 🙂

  6. markwindham says:

    we try and try to ignore them….

  7. A pesky guest entering the home of an introverted person, an invasive weed planting itself next to native flora, or a metaphorical instance of an anxious conversation we’d rather not be a part of? Enjoyed all perspectives and themes while reading “The Guest”. I can totally relate.

    • wayside word garden says:

      Thanks for seeing all that– I think you saw more than I did– I didn’t specifically envision the invasive weed analogy– but I love this kind of feedback. Thank you!

  8. Semaphore says:

    Not capturing the old metaphor, but re-inventing it! I really appreciated the way you pushed the envelope on the metaphor of the “elephant in the room”, exploring sound, touch, sight – turning it from a cliche into something tangibly new.

  9. claudia says:

    ha – this was great… a toast to the elephants in our lives…and in our rooms of course…cleverly penned metaphor

  10. Sheila says:

    Don’t care much for those elephants in the room at all. Nice job.

Thank you for your comments, much appreciated!!

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