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The Circus...

A Circus tent can smell of mildew, which
most nine year olds don't care about at all
They're overcome by glamour and the glitz
of music, cotton candy, and three rings

packed very full of jugglers, dogs and girls
in sleazy sequined costumes as they swing
perilously back and forth... while doing
such amazing things. Hear the lion

roaring at his trainer who attempts 
to fit her head into his mouth! I close
my eyes and pray this moment's safely past.
Not to be outdone, four elephants

are marching one by one; they're doing tricks
and bowing for the crowd. My children
give them peanuts, giggling at the tickling
of their trunks upon their outstretched palms.

Some joy comes from surprising memories
of clowns in floppy hats and torn up shoes, 
a squirting flower in their lapels; those endless
colored scarves they pull from flowing sleeves; 
some gypsies reading crystal balls, a lion 
roaring in the night, a tent, in spite
of overwhelming smell, has made us smile
and say "Good Night."

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