Lucy in Margate

Lucy in Margate

It looked smaller now…
that Margate elephant
sand-stranded exotic
India tusked male
named Lucy.

She remembered now…
“Once in a Lifetime!”
above the ticket booth
and how staircases spiraled
five stories to the howdah.

She remembered now…
how its pink belly hall
echoed whoops and hollers
when she and Boy
hands clasped
stomped dizzily in circles
then raced upward
through the beast’s back
to the lookout.

One Atlantic Ocean glance
and they hurried
down to the belly
down the legs
out the door
back to the beach.

Lucy looked tired to her now…
peeling gray tin
patched gaudy howdah
soulful puffy eyes
better days.

She bought a souvenir to frame
…old-time Lucy post card…
two children
buying tickets
with a banner
above the booth
“Once in a Lifetime!”

Bonnie Marshall