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Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown,
the Ferris wheel teeters,
not up, yet not down . . .
Have I been too long at the fair?

NOTE: This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 15 when we were living with my grandfather within walking distance of the Nashville fairgrounds. I believe the Ferris wheel only operated during the state fair. So my “educated guess” is that this poem was written during the 1973 state fair, or shortly thereafter. I remember watching people hanging suspended in mid-air, waiting for carnies to deposit them safely on terra firma again. Keywords/Tags: state, fair, carnival, carnies, Ferris, wheel, teeters, teetering, up, down, summer, fall, leaves, falling, time
Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown,
the Ferris wheel teeters,
not up, yet not down . . .
Have I been too long at the fair?

NOTE: This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 15 when we were living with my grandfather within walking distance of the Nashville fairgrounds. I believe the Ferris wheel only operated during the state fair. So my “educated guess” is that this poem was written during the 1973 state fair, or shortly thereafter. I remember watching people hanging suspended in mid-air, waiting for carnies to deposit them safely on terra firma again. Keywords/Tags: state, fair, carnival, carnies, Ferris, wheel, teeters, teetering, up, down, summer, fall, leaves, falling, time
On the merry-go-round,
new love I found.
Caressed hands on dodgems,
but she pinged me a Dear John.
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

How we canoodled by
the coconut shy.
Phoney fortune-teller
foresaw us together.
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

The Big Dipper's
not great for one's dinner,
but its ups and downs thrill.
Love is the ride that makes you ill.
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

Once seatbeats were buckled,
harum-scarum carny cackled.
Sugarcube senses dissolved
as the giant teacup revolved.  
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

Atop the Ferris Wheel,
did I queer this deal?
Should I have fondled her
in the gondola?
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

At hoop-la I won nix
- same with love, is it fixed?
Vendor's upped sticks , in candy floss
I can't even drown my loss.
The fair left town with my heart:
left love a grey, trash-strewn park.

Her name was Elena,
she came from Romania.
Where carnival lights once glew,
now as a disco under Ceausescu:
drab, shabby, dark. Like my heart
of trash, strewn about a fair-departed park.

— The End —