Death Defying

Death Defying

From her husband’s teeth, the thin lady hangs,
her star-painted seat twirling as he swings
precariously from his brother’s arms,
who dangles upside down, as if harm
knows nothing of the circus wire, taut
between belief and fear, the locals taught
respect for gravity, for faith, for all
that brings the dollars in when crops won’t sell.

The larger tale looms outside the tent,
beyond the dried-up field its farmer rents
to last-ditch auctions, hawkers, traveling shows
that feed your hungry kids when corn won’t grow.
The sky is blood-black on its outer rim,
the clouds contort and flip, the crowds within,
know nothing of the funnel—or the rain.
The big top twirls closer, juggling pain.

— Marjorie Maddox, author of Perpendicular As I

This poem is offered as part of our August theme: Carnival & Circus

T. S. Poetry


4 thoughts on “Death Defying

Add yours

  1. Did you hear about the circus tent flipping over in New Hampshire over the weekend? Or possibly last night? This was such a pertinent post!
    You found a great photo and poem to quote, this really had me on pins and needles. How did those circus people use their teeth to do these death defying feats? Also, how in the world did anyone even conceive of breathing fire? Now you have me going in a tangent and thinking crazy thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, there were 2 deaths, 9 injuries and I feel bad for children who were traumatized. I am not being “facetious” in saying it is hard enough for some children to go since they fear clowns, just imagine their nightmares now! It should be on internet but now may be “old” news.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m just not a big news reader or watcher. Mainly because it is mostly sad news or stuff that makes me mad. So, I chose to live in my own little world. I do feel bad that the children and the families. ❤


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