Carnival

Linda Wagner

Linda Wagner

Lost.

One small white-shirted boy, gone, just a

breath away, faun-like, now invisible. Face

after face after face after face-no gap

in the legs moving steadily ahead. My

hands clench as head roars—then, he

whirls toward me, a splinter of direction

framed in shrieking faces. Hugging him close

as the crowd collapses, I lead him to his ride,

the merry-go-round is pure joy,

a brief floating circle

of shadowed love.

 

2

 

Slant bodies tip, whirl as

dark shapes startle. Screams ricochet,

burst, at the empty tunnel's edge.

His small hand

wrenches mine

shooting thought through me,

what would he do alone, in

this God-damned fun house?

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1. From the Red Cedar Review, volume 8, number 2 (1972). For more information on this author at the time of this publication, and other online issues of this publication go to: https://d.lib.msu.edu/rcr Worth corrections?
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