Denise Duhamel picked Sherman Alexie's "Pachyderm" for The Best American Poetry 2013. On composing "Pachyderm" Alexie writes:
“Lying in a university town hotel, unable to sleep, I watched a National Geographic documentary about elephants. There was a scene if a mother elephant coming upon a dead elephant’s bones. The mother elephant carefully touched the bones with her trunk. She seemed to be mourning the loss of another elephant.. It was devastating. Then, a few days later, I watched a CNN story about an Iraqi War veteran who’d lost both of his legs to an impro0vised explosive device. He was confident in his ability to rehab successfully, but I also detected an undercurrent of anger. So, while I was working on a novel the mourning elephant and wounded soldier merged in my mind. And that’s where ‘Pachyderm’ had its origins.”
You can read "Pachyderm" in The Best American Poetry 2013.