Flying from bar to swinging bar the trapeze
Artist’s each thought made its move and would be
Seen, or heard out loud within his head.
Of all he could dare, confusion exacted time
He did not have, suspended in the air—
Air as the ground he treaded, which made the net
Stretched out to catch him hollow as a tunnel
Buried with the town’s utilities.
None of the crowd avowed though each awaited
Death the defied to roar into his lapse—
Oo he’s falling—Ah, its just a trick
—Don’t look now—compulsively munching on
Insubstantial popcorn and cotton candy.
The elephants as reindeer pulled a sleigh.
And what thighs in lace stockings Santa had!
The clowns’ red noses and the painted frowns.
Two by two and head to toe they tumbled
Copiously from an ambulance for kinder
Stretches of the imagination to the runts
We were with this hello before our eyes—
The swirling music, the lights and glitter, so amply
Now, replete in its moment, final as summer
With the State Fair, unforgettable, the circus,
To be outgrown. And suckered into again…

© Michael Todd Steffen


IBBETSON STREET PRESS 25 School Street, Somerville, MA 02143