1796 c/o Victoria Kennefick

Crowninshield           just in port,    
sailed to India                         and the Orient            to bring back
and the elephant,        Old Bet.
Her long trunk           curls
warm & heavy on his shoulder, he
shrugs her
off now           they are on 
(He sold her to Bailey for a fair price).

He’s read                                she’s travelling                       in a circus
of four wagons,
a trained dog,
several pigs,
a horse,                       that Bailey
loved her so well       he built           
the Elephant                                        Hotel.

Crowninshield           voyages
back                             and forth                    to India
New England.
He thinks                    of her
often, how they          shared
porter when clean water had run
dry; Bet uncorking
bottles            with her nose, downed thirty
a day
(when he brought her to New York she was perfectly healthy).

The hanky in his fist    is damp.  Bet met                    a sorry end,
one shot
the eye,          
he feels                       better
when he learns Bailey           
erected a monument outside
his hotel.
Carved in wood         it stands         on a shaft
of dressed granite,                                                                        on a tall column
the figure of an elephant.