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The Carousel

The Carousel

How many poets have sat in cafes
Alone on fashionable streets decked with colour?
The gay parade goes round them like a carousel
Whose whirling dance attracts the children of a quieter life
To come and ride the wild horses
To rise and fall on the wheel in the company of other painted faces
And the light, by mirrors twisted for the sake of the horses
Whose expressions are fixed in the image of their particular madness
Like wolverine men whose brows configure into horns
And sorrowful women whose faces wear the unwanted masks
Of the triumphal arches that time over beauty constructs
In mockery of what should be eternal
And yet is fleeting- like the memory of your first ride
Oh it is a dizzy experience
See the faces panning around- eager not to miss a trick
The first ride is free
And you might remember that the horses, with their faces planted in the mirrors
Pretended not to notice your new face and "knock-knees"
But you knew that they were looking
And you thought they might be thinking- "Come ride ME!"
And they were
And your balance at first unsteady
On the sureness of their well-smoothed backs became sure
As from one to another you hopped
Knowing instinctively that that was the done thing here
And never to feel bad
There would be another, much like you, to keep a supple back from riding bare
And each new ride- a paragon of excitement and originality
A sortie into the heart-world and history of one who has nothing left to fear
"But what do you all see in ME?" you asked
Green thing that you were
And in responses they gaily laughed
As though it were as obvious as the crown of your head
And your not seeing it made it shine even brighter

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Submitted on July 23, 2013

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    "The Carousel" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/86261/the-carousel>.

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