Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Elephant in the Room

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
By Terry Kettering

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else—
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say “Barbara” again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say, “Barbara” to you
and not have you look away?
For if I cannot,
then you are leaving me alone
in a room—with an elephant.

My elephant isn't bereavement but the poem is true all the same.

2 comments:

Sean said...

The Elephant in the Room was introduced to me last year by Randy Pausch.
When there's an elephant in the room, it's best to introduce it.
Good stuff.

WardBunny said...

It's a good way of explaining the need to talk after traumatic events. College introduced it to us years ago.

"Hello, I'm WardBunny, this is my elephant..."

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