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The Circus

When I recall my childhood
I think about the circus
The day I fed the baby elephant
She would extend her trunk to me
Awaiting the sugar cubes
My nimble 5 year old fingers
placing them carefully in her nostrils

I remember the tall, brown grass
Growing wild around the circus tents
I watched the wind make wave-like patterns in the field
My shadow stretched long and tall above the young elephant
I could see the distorted shape of a top hat & cane
Suddenly I am the ringmaster of the big top
Red velvet jacket and a megaphone
Conducting the action all around me

Lions and tigers jumping through fire
Motorcycles spinning in a metal cage
Sword swallowers, unicycles, acrobats
And high above, a female trapeze artist
Swooping back and forth
Performing “Death-Defying Feats of Danger! ”
Through the safety net I catch flashes of light
Reflected from her gold lame’ body suit
Clinging tightly to her European curves
Which I cannot fully appreciate at my young age

Backstage, I call for the clowns to come
Among them is my grandfather – “Needles the clown”
The funniest of them all - a prankster
He is a magician and a master of his craft
He is applying the last of his makeup
I watch his transformation
He nudges my arm saying “Don’t forget about Candy…”

The last sugar cube falls at my feet
As the young elephant gently nudges me out of my daydream
I feed her the last cube and kiss her trunk
I run off, catching the scent of cotton candy and popcorn in the late summer air
I am hungry.

by Matt Gardner

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Comments (1)

I also remember the Circus when I was young. Those were exciting times, I don't know it the same atmosphere applies today. Nice Poem. Sincerely Ernestine Northover