painted smiles
happily traverse
stages collapsing
but the show
is not leaving town

theme parks
fold up
on trucks with no fuel
all roads have been travelled
but we’ll walk them again
to keep our tents up
with borrowed poles, stolen pegs

use the trapeze ropes
to hold lions back
while seeming to save them
we applaud
fall in line

it’s the clowns
that strut out to the front
finally understanding
what all the training was about
but there are no gasps of wonder

so we turn
to each other and see the bad in our friends
when the show seems silly because no one is paying
but our chests are still pushed out
to please masters
who are not looking anymore

crowds won’t come
they’ve stolen our tricks
but we must offer our souls, someone will turn
they are coming, they’re coming
we’re in business once more
where is that paint? where’s that paint?
we need our smiles emphasized-
they are holding new whips.

 

 

POEM: Copyright © Iz Mazano

PICTURE: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

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