Elephant shoes.
He could not pronounce 'Ellen' so he called me 'Mary Elephant' I was a baby, and he was three and a half. Anything Joe liked, I liked. Anything he called me, I became. My older brother, as older siblings do, shaped me. Some days we were inseparable. As we grew, some days were difficult. I always looked to him for definition. 

I became an elephant. One evening, Joe sat with his speak n' spell working over his vocabulary list for the third grade. He asked, "How do you spell Elephant?"

"E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T" I replied. 

"She is in kindergarten!" he said with tears in his eyes. I didn't understand, because I thought he knew that he was the one who taught me that word. 

I was told to go to my room. I didn't play downstairs while Joe did his homework anymore after that. 

In Melbourne right now there is a parade of elephants all over the city. Mosaic elephants, painted elephants, knitted elephants, all with their trunks up, of course. I see them everywhere and it makes me feel home. I asked a dear friend of mine, a man I was once in love with, who I still very much love, to draw me an elephant.

I just want a little elephant with me all the time. One that can never leave. 

Now I have an elephant sitting above my left ear. 
I just wish Joe was still here. 
Never forgets.

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