Poetry: The Carnival | clivejames.com
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The Carnival

You can’t persuade the carnival to stay.
Wish all you like, it has to go away.
Don’t let the way it moves on get you down.
If it stayed put, how could it come to town?

How could there be the oompah and the thump
Of drums, the trick dogs barking as they jump?
The girl in pink tights and gold headache-band
Still smiling upside down in a hand stand?

These wonders get familiar by the last
Night of the run. A miracle fades fast.
You spot the pulled thread on a leotard.
Those double somersaults don’t look so hard.

Can’t you maintain your childish hunger? No.
They know that in advance. They have to go,
Not to return until they’re something new
For anybody less blasé than you.

The carnival, the carnival. You grieve,
Knowing the day must come when it will leave.
But that was why her silver slippers shone –
Because the carnival would soon be gone.