Clowning around: Warming up the crowd.
“Make ‘em laugh,” barked the owner of the Center Ring Circus.
"I want ‘em rolling in the aisles!"
Fusing illusion with perception,
desperation with the theory
that what doesn’t make us cry will make us laugh.
He danced and he tumbled,
stood up and looked at the arm
lying on the ground.
Smiled his comical smile, picked up the arm,
waved it at the crowd and stuffed it in his pocket.
Then a leg fell off as he cartwheeled
into their good graces.
He balanced on his other leg,
bent over, picked it up with his remaining hand,
and, ever playing the fool,
flipped it into the air.
Hopping in circles beneath
caught it in another pocket.
and his over-sized red shoe, complete with foot
bounced off a bleacher.
A child with merry smile tossed it and he held open
a pocket and caught it.
On his knees now, painted smile intact,
he twisted and turned, loosening another
poorly sewn stich in his side and
his other leg flopped loose.
His gloved hand popped it into yet another pocket,
rolling around in the dirt to do so.
The crowd laughed and they pointed: They laughed till they cried
And the owner stood in the wings, smiling, fingering a pocketful of coins.
Then our clown's head fell off.
It lay tilted looking up to the high wires and trapeze swings.
The crowd couldn’t see twin streaks of tears
streaking the greasepaint,sliding down to either side
of the painted on smile.
He had no pockets left...
The crowd laughed and they pointed:They laughed till they cried
As illusion gave way to reality and perceptions fell silent in the center ring.