The View From the Tightrope
The year American ran away and joined the circus.
Not all clowns are happy.
Some shed big painted teardrops.
All clowns are pictures of folly,
but some show the stains of that folly.
Already in the wings, warming up among the gamy elephants,
the sinister comedy of the calliope,
the meretricious sparkle of the glockenspiel.
The master of ceremonies, mistaking his cue,
comes upon us too soon,
with a crack of a whip,
in top hat and red pants
to cry the banshee cry:
“Laaaaaay-dies and Gentlemen” it begins.
Now the pause,
the pause is important here,
the killing suspense,
only then, in a thundering roll of sound,
so we hear our names called again:
“And Children of All Ages.”