Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

The African Savannah

Steve Ablon
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts


A dark striped giraffe

Photo by Steve Ablon

Forty years ago, my father

wore his safari hat, squinted

through binoculars, told us those

giraffes, the dark ones, are older,


and soon will not be able to outrun

lions or will break a leg, be eaten.

That is the cycle of life he said.


Now he needs a walker. My teacher

broke her hip, my colleague tore

his anterior cruciate ligament,


my neighbor broke his jaw.

I am the dark striped giraffe,

limping, trying to stay with the herd.



STEVE LURIA ABLON, MD, is a poet and adult and child psychoanalyst who teaches child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He publishes widely in academic journals. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines such as The Brooklyn Review, Ploughshares, and The Princeton Arts Review. He has published five full collections of poetry including Tornado Weather (Mellen Poetry Press, 1993),  Flying Over Tasmania (The Fithian Press, 1997), Blue Damsels (Peter E Randall Publisher, 2005), Night Call (Plain View Press, 2011), and, most recently, Dinner in the Garden (Columbia, South Carolina, 2018).


Winter 2020  |  Sections  |  Poetry

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