In Memory of a Shot Dead Circus Elephant
The only wild you knew was a frightened crowd
come to gawk at captives and prisoners. Some man
got rich off you, drinking toasts in his trailer
to the pachyderms of tents and cages, holding gold
in his hands letting the clinky coins jingle him a
tune of success. If he was really lucky a nice looking
girl would help him out of long black shiny boots,
and into bed, while you munched hay and junk
not from jungles. Whoever said it was an elephant's
job to like peanuts, anyway?
The final round before you left life's ring
was not a round of applause. Hunkered down heavy
next to a small blue car your eyes glazed over
and opened to see for the first real time: freedom.
For once, you called the shots, yes, you called the shots
and they came through the air and triggers set you free,
eighty seven rounds till down for good on Kakaako.
When you lay crumpled against that car
all shot full of bullets after your rampage
toward some sort of freedom, your eyes still
open, but small, people have speculated
about what might have been going on in your mind:
you were dreaming of green
and big fields.
And the sweetness of your mother's trunk
swinging to and fro
while you sucked milk,
oblivious to cages and pain.