The Carousel of Happiness

Today a llama in ballet slippers
Drives you to your children’s lost childhood.
Round and round and up and down
On that which can never be regained:
A brass axis you hold with both hands.
Strangely happy, someone else’s joy
Moves through your chest and chokes you.
You never asked for a perfect childhood.
The Vietnam vet who lovingly carved the animals
Of your life did not know you. Still, he knows you.
Nostalgia makes you stare at the ceiling,
Notice fairies on window sills, pretend fascination
At the simple machine of the thing in order
Not to cry. Pretending makes the fascination real,
Circling what never was and cannot be.
Soon you are stuck half in and out of a wall
Called Somewhere Else. You try another animal.
Another. Another. The rooster in pearls is silent.
The frog holding a rubber ball never throws it.
The pink pig doesn’t oink as you oink
At the little girl on the cat who insisted
We each choose the animal we want,
Not the animals closest to each other.
Proximity is not the highest goal in family life.
She knows. We can always wave and smile
Across the hub and spokes of hardwood timbers,
Probably once a private wood protected
By a sign that read No Trespassing.
Now it only costs a dollar to waltz
With the Wurlitzer military band organ,
Circling someone else’s Americana dream
That now is yours, two childhoods late.

2015
Nederland, CO

3 Responses to “The Carousel of Happiness”

  1. Fey says:

    This is fabulous. I know it’s hard to keep your poem a day promise to the ethereal but these are some of your finest.

    • wordweed says:

      That means so much, coming from you, dear poet. Have you seen the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland? It is stunning and so confusing to the heart.

  2. Fey says:

    Just thru your eyewords

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