Like Nothing Ever Seen on Earth

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Judith Kunst

Like Nothing Ever Seen On Earth


      First thing you’ll be amazed at is your mama
      flying the high trapeze, her long hair streaming
      scarlet curlicues. The only time your papa

      fumbles his top-hat words is when she’s beaming
      at him from the hammock where she tumbles
      in the grand finale. He’s nervous, dreaming

      you’ll be frightened by the big top, its rumbles
      of tigers and applause. But I’m guessing
      you’ll get used to all the bells and drumrolls

      pretty quickly. We clowns will want help pressing
      cream pies to our faces; you can try on
      my fake nose, or tickle me while I’m dressing

      for the encores. There’s a golden lion
      who means to greet you when you’re older,
      and monkeys who’ll teach you how to climb on

      the rafters. Then the weather will get colder.
      We’ll lower the long poles and fold up the tents.
      We’ll hoist the magic carpets on our shoulders.

      You’ll walk in front, between the elephants,
      where you can see the new road winding down.
      To the sky, you can practice your “Ladies and gents!”
      while I plaster the ads in the next town.