I Saw The Circus Once, And Under Canvas
Good-bye the clown car.
Alas the line of elephants, parades, archaic tire
and lingo. Good-bye high wires that sing, the swings,
black whips that snap, slappy shoes
made to trip over motes of remembered sawdust.
Good-bye the stilted men, the spangled shine,
three rings, top hats, tales
of rubes transformed into fliers, strongmen, human
cannonballs. Good-bye the trace of majesty, last gasp
of traveling wonder.
Good-bye tiny stages, flimsy cages, tigers, freaks,
peeks, shrieks. Good-bye the lines of banter, lines
of lights, hoards of sweating roustabouts,
the grand antique and secret message
that has run through every spiel
since marvelling began.
Good-bye the gold caliope, the Spectacle, the
Greatest Show On Earth. One more
piece of the past has died. Good-bye
the Great Egress.