With his small hands the eager child
grins and grips the fat brass pole
astride a sleek cream-colored pony
with painted wreath and legs a-gallop.
He reaches out for its carved mane
as around in a parade he rides
and leans his head back to look
up high in a red canopy
where a hundred or more white lights shine
on mirrors and pictures in golden frames
where an organ hid somewhere inside
plays circus music. His eyes roam
as he holds still and the world revolves—
sky and park and trees and people—
while his parents move slowly past him
who smile and wave one more time
and then he remembers their faces.
Beth Paulson's poems have appeared most recently in Blueline,
the Aurorean, Plain Spoke and Wild Goose Review and will appear soon in a new anthology by Native
West Press. Her work was nominated
for the Pushcart Prize in 2007, 2009, and 2011. Her new collection of poems, Wild Raspberries, was published
by Plain View Press (Austin, 2009).