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After the Bombing/At the Zoo

Before the bombs fell on Berlin
In the course of 363 air raids
The British dropping
45,517 tons of bombs
The Americans dropping
23,000 tons of bombs
While the Soviets
Managed to drop
40,000 tons of bombs
In a mere two weeks
As they advanced on the city
Before all of this
3,715 animals
At the zoo
91 animals
Were left

Eight out of nine
The first elephant killed
Was the first casualty
Of the first bombing raid
August 26, 1940
Six of fifty bombers crashed
Two Berliners were lightly injured
A woodshed in the suburbs destroyed
And one dead elephant

The Allies improved
Killed seven elephants in a single raid
November, 1944
When 753 British aircraft
Dropped 2,500 tons of bombs
In twenty-two minutes
And a human-induced firestorm
Raged through the city
Reminiscent of
Operation Gomorrah
(34,000-42,000 killed)
Foreshadowing Operation Thunderclap
(25,000 killed)
And Operation Meeting House
(90,000-100,000 killed)

The ninth elephant
Went mad
With terror and grief
And survived
Like the rest of us
He didn’t anymore

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