I am a windmill
No flapping of my arms
will distract them
as they cycle past smoothly
or wobble over unseen pebbles
I have become part of the vast blue
moving as the sun and the moon do
imperceptibly across the sky
My shoulders massaged by the breeze.
There are newer whirring contraptions with
fancier wings, faster speeds
Go ahead, be snapped with them
I smile sedately, feeling at ease
I no longer need to dance and please
The fair has shifted from under me
the hullabaloo heard from a pleasing distance
Smoke rising straight into the quiet blue
I stretch my legs but stay where I belong.
Do I urge the slower ones as they pause?
Around the corner may lie the biggest catch of all
They run, eager not to be left behind
I am amused as I know
whirring air can make deceptive sounds.
The circus came every year
The billboard cars with colourful posters
of fire-eating men, girls with hula hoops
and a sad elephant perched on a narrow stool.
The skinny lion
forced to jump through burning rings
snarled its discomfiture at the roaring crowd
The clown whose mask smiled
while his tired wrinkles and peeping grey
declared a life wasted away.
Painted girls in sheer stockings
smelling of sweat and unwashed hair
lithe on tightropes, their dreams on hold
under the spell of a screaming whip.
Beyond the lighted tent, could you not see?
The dancing shadows of panicky beings
pouring their lives into fragile nets
while a jamboree of town folk clapped
teaching their kids
it is ok to laugh at slaving sprites
and then to go home smugly safe
to a warm dinner and a cosy bed.