because it looks like
a huddled herd of elephants --
not only in its corpulence
but also with its rough, gray skin.
So rotund at its base
that it's hard to figure
how its slowly slimming upward taper
can come to twiggy ends,
and not be a mile tall.
The branches are overly muscular,
like a bodybuilder who got carried away,
moving from strong and vigorous
into the domain of science fiction mishap.
It has its own mythology --
multiple creation tales about
how its seed got from Madagascar
to the middle of India half a millennium ago:
tales of fakirs and royal envoys.
It's even been said that the Forty Thieves,
the ones who tormented Ali Baba,
used its hollow as their cache cave.
But it refuses to respond to "Open Sesame" --
so I guess we'll never know.