George Balanchine, 1904–1983.

by Gerard Malanga

       Elephants are the greatest dancers. George Balanchine
knew this. They make no claim to beauty
but overwhelm with nimble grace, their stoic silence,
till the song pours through. They have their way,
their to and fro, their sashay, their solemnity.
Those early afternoons where dreams set in. They close their eyes.
They are alert. They yearn for more. They are family.
They are venerable. The drifting breeze
drifts further still. More the yearning and the swerving.
Through a wilderness, a calm
they are in love waiting to return.