Day at the circus

Came the circus to town
I stood in line
Bought my ticket
Expectations low
And was surprised

For a change the clowns weren’t sad
Clearly they’d made love all afternoon

The acrobats had wings
But were human after all
One of them cried after falling into the net

I could tell that one of the horses was galloping
In a parallel universe
Defying the whip

The mama elephant with huge scars on her side
Cut short her routine
To nuzzle her calf

A terrified girl in the crowd  
Was being comforted by a frightened boy

“The sawdust on the cuffs of my pants
Is so beautiful,”
I thought
“I’ll put my head into the lion’s mouth”
And I did
I did
I did!

That day I was
-- to paraphrase MacLeish --
Seven of the nineteen good people in the world

                                                -- New York, October 9, 2012 

1 comment:

davichon said...

someone besides myself has MacLeish on the brain? Hooray! "Surely" his/your quote is a take on the old Hassidic parable: basically that the world is so F-ed up that god would in anger destroy it, except for a handful of inconspicuous saints who go about their very humble occupations in a saintly way. There's a Hebrew word for it, and -- because its Jewish, an exact number of these tzadiks. Shlomo Carleback has(if I remember right) as story about one of these-- a guy who carries potatoes.