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“Circus” – not my photo

I sat on the wall and watched.
He said, the piebald pigeons started laughing in the street but,
This I did not see,
For I was busy,
Sitting on the wall and watching.

He said, the ragged squirrels juggled ten walnuts at a time and,
The outrageous sparrows flung themselves, upside down,
Off of the trapeze.
But, again, I did not see,
For I was,
Sitting on the wall and watching.

Ten thousand orchids flew into the city,
Landed on the lampposts in the night.
Bloody snapdragons sprouted fiery tongues and,
Were carried away by the MorningStar.
The mountains all decided to stand up on their long, thin legs.
They marched away, across the land,
Leaving puddles as footprints.
They rolled over, onto another shore,
Sending their spume as far as the moon and,
Drowning the soul of the sun.
But, I was busy, busy,
Watching from the wall,
Busy, watching my child grow up.

Just like me. Replica of myself.
Nothing like me. Mirror image of his father.
Sometimes, I cannot tell the stones from the trees or,
The others from each other or,
My son from myself.

In the evenings, everyone sits on the wall and,
I am told of great events,
Of treaties signed and kingdoms sold,
Of stocks and bonds and interest rates,
Technology soaring, epidemics,
Crime on the rise and tax revolts,
Migrations and wars and summit meetings,
Trade unions, accidents and,
Famines in far off climes.

But, once again, I did not see,
For I was busy watching,
Watching from the wall.
I was watching my child grow up and,
He was watching the circus.

August 1985

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