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The Circus


In the first ring, little dogs dance

on the backs of elephants.

Why can't they be singing lobsters

riding upon rhinoceri?


In the third ring, a man with a whip

puts his head in a tiger's mouth.

Why can't the man be Cleopatra,

& the tiger be a crocodile?


In the center ring, painted clowns

chase each other with water buckets.

Why can't the clowns be whirling dervishes

with roman candles on their heads?


Above the center ring, aerial acrobats

somersault from trapeze to trapeze.

Take away the swings & safety nets,

let them fly as angels or fall. 



[Originally published in NHS 2001, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs01/rixon.html.]