Not My Circus

Not My Circus

Somewhere a calliope plays.
Wooden horses run in circles.
There are lights, the same music
you heard as a child plays into the night.

Things fry. Hucksters call you in
to tents of mysteries and mockery.
There are games to lose
and people do, again and again.

In the back corner, young men fight,
preening and seething as if it mattered.
A year from now, no one will remember
and a new crop of battlers will emerge.

Lights intoxicate.
The same old rides have new names.
They spin you, shake you, make you just a little sick.
But not enough to keep you from the next one.

You eat.
You eat things you would never eat at home.
Grease. Sugar. Hot and gooey.
Smothered in cinnamon and jalapeno.

Every season, about July, they appear.
They take your money in exchange
for a moment of promise and light
and disappear again,

hoping you will forget
but the dancing lights
and music from your childhood.

About this poem.

I am old enough to have seen it all come and go again. Politics? Bah! I am grateful for the few with integrity. The rest are just part of the circus.

Or it could be about an actual circus. The small ones that travel the backroads still, a relic of another age.


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