Maggie..the Zimbabwean Elephant

Dedicated to Maggie and all other elephants held captive in zoos

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Reels of memories spool away from deep within her mind

Africa’s sun kissed bush, cerulean skies, elephants: her kind

A tender trunk, a caress: rumbles in the night

An impenetrable circle of tusks and muscle: a family unit so tight

Acacia pods, the rivers, sunlight and heat

The drum roll of Africa reverberates beneath her feet

A family wearing wrinkled coats: rolling from side to side

Tusks like scythes, gigantic ears: Africa’s pride

The tranquility of evening: nature’s chorus on the breeze

Slivers of languid moonlight peeking through the trees

Africa’s nights are never lonely: a myriad of stars hang in the sky

A rustling of nightlife:  scampering on by

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Reels of memories like nightmares screaming in her mind

A culling of her herd: her family: her kind

Panic and heart beats: elephants on the run

Precious calves squealing: falling one by one

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Sadness in the mist: elephant calves sway and yearn

Boxed and crated: shipped to foreign countries: never to return

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A shutter slams down like a prison door

Four walls her home: incarceration for evermore

Unwrapping the secrets of cold grey skies and long lonely days

Shrieking winds in an unknown land: she weeps and sways

Clouds of despair: pale faces staring in

Abandoned dreams: her hope dying slowly: a deadly sin

Beautiful Maggie with a soft weary tread

A coat full of creases and a large noble head

Her eyes full of sadness: her trunk reaching high

Seeking the horizon where earth drifts into sky

Years of imprisonment: windows into her soul

Yearning for escape: yearning to be whole

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 On Nov. 1, 2007, the 27-year-old elephant was crated and put aboard one of the largest cargo jets made, on loan from the United States Air Force, and flown 2,000 miles to California. Maggie’s friend Bob Barker paid for her flight.

Today Maggie is enjoying the warm California weather, expansive habitat and African elephant friends Mara and Lulu. Maggie continues to captivate her keepers and entrance her fellow elephants. 

6 thoughts on “Maggie..the Zimbabwean Elephant

  1. Oh my god the tears are rolling!!!!! It makes me sooo sad – I know she has a happier life now than she has had but who do we think we are as humans???? Beautifully written xxx

  2. I had the pleasure of seeing Maggie at PAWS this past February. She is beautiful and enjoying her life with friends at ARK2000! I hope everyone who reads this poem and the comments will join one of the GlobalMarchforElephantsandRhinos near them and march this October 4th! Also, do NOT go to circuses with animals or ride on any elephants either!

    • Hi Judith,
      Was so pleased to read that you have seen Maggie at PAWS. I have been looking at their websites and doing plenty of reading. Incredible people out there. Her story really got to me and yes, I definitely will be on that Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. Thank you.

  3. WHAT A WONDERFUL POEM, dedicated to Maggie the elephant!

    If Maggie could read she would give you the elephant-Nobel prize for putting down all of her elephant dreams of her lost natural freedom.

    This poem says it all, why elephants are happy in the environment where they belong and where they were born.

    And now I got sentimental, too, and my tears are running, your poem touched me. 🙂

    Take care!

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