Summer break is a week away, and my kids are filled with plans for fun, fun, fun. Week after next, there is a town fair with rides and cotton candy and loud music. That is the talk of the day, these last waning days of the school year.
The Fair by Hank Hudepohl
Before the gates opened, before popcorn
and cotton candy drifted down throats
like sweet and salty summer evenings
of childhood, before the townspeople
confessed to the music and lights,
the Ferris wheel baskets swung empty
in a slow arc, one by one, offering color
to the sky — red, yellow, orange, blue.
Just roving boys, what else could we do
but follow the sandaled feet of girls
out to the fair to buy them rides
until our pockets turned up penniless,
until we lost them in the dark
the way sparrows will fly from you,
until our last walk past the fun house
mirrors stretched our bodies like gum,
when we caught ourselves looking
back at ourselves for the first time.