The Poet Community

Fifteen Elephants | A Poem by Elaine Meredith

Fifteen elephants stampeded
at the circus yesterday.
Three peanut carts and a tricycle
belonging to Jocko the Clown
were crushed; out upon the midway fire
eaters belched, instantly igniting a wagon
of cotton candy, from which
the late matinee crowd had thronged
back into the arena, while tight
rope artists above released their
top hat upon top hat of prop doves.
They flew in climbing vortices, sunlit
white above the scarlet bandsmen’s
filigreed gold braid, glinting from shadows
amidst the surging bedlam where
the brass section had passed beside
the now becalmed pachyderms; the
fitfully annoyed drivers straightening their
shimmering festival regalia.
The Ring Master returned to center stage
a silver baton held high, and Sphinx Princess
in hand, while tigers leapt through
the flame of opposing hoops in synchronicity
to the snapping whip of a great hunter,
and all within their barred kingdom.
Then out of the void a barnstormer’s biplane
buzzed screaming from the canvas rent
of the mastodon’s flight, with baton twirling
wing walkers clad in gold sequins and tights;
it had been a bad day for the chimpanzees
and dancing bear behind the horseless
carriage.



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