Bradbury’s Carnivals

his heart must certainly be a carnival
in the darkness, kept lively and light
through fluttering fluorescents and the spin and jump of
ribboneers, the hollering of barkers and
fingers skittering like locusts at night
pointing out each word,
the weak light beneath the blankets sputtering
while the parents think you asleep. But we are not
in that world for the moment, not in the world of
mothers screaming and fathers beating, no,
we are with Bradbury in his carnivals,
safe in the company of dangerous men and
devils that dress for showmanship, we are
peering with eager eyes through the tent-flaps
at creatures swimming in murky jars and
sideshow freaks with sad, sad thoughts,
and we are here, still seduced by the
whistles and blares of the carousel,
and the night is growing darker and
the flashlight is fast fading and
just as quick as dying we are
slumbering, with soft dreams twinkled by
the visit of Bradbury’s carnivals.