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waltzing calliope organs


The Merry-Go-Round (linoleum cut) — Cyril Power (1872–1951) — public domain



as we haste towards the sound of waltzing calliope organs and a foghorn’s blast and blare bellowing from our small-town market square grandpa’s pants are sagging not with age but with pockets filled with coin hurry, hurry, pappy dear we kept our promise to abstain from sweets for forty days but now our lent has passed and the wondrous fair is here with bumper cars and carousels and the caterpillar ride where we hope  — but don’t tell mom and dad —  to steal a mayfly sweetheart’s kiss under cover of the canopy panting puppies straining at the leash we pull along our pappy in his jingling trousers sagging despite the broad suspenders that hug his beer belly swell onwards, onwards through the narrow streets towards the sticky smell of pancakes and waffles red sugar-glazed apples and fluffy candyfloss pink hurry, hurry, pappy dear for the bean bag and the ring toss we’ve practiced all year and angling for rubber ducks we simply can’t miss and at the shooting gallery we’re certain you’ll win a huge cuddly bear for you’ve been to war and your hands are still steady and your aim is still true and when the day is done and we saunter back home heads still spinning from growing true wings on the carnival’s swings with our slot machine loot of tinsel and plastic and a huge stuffed bear grandpa will hitch up his pants having shed not just coins but decades of his old man’s years


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