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Monday, July 03, 2006

Carnival Child

We were carnival children once,
with scuffed knees
and unbruised hearts,
filled with flashing flights
of chatting laughter,
a smorgasbord of sounds
playing in universal choir
etched beneath our sandalled feet,
as we dragged our dreams
on dust sandy floors,
filled with so much promise,
ripe fruit bursting,
never pausing
to wonder at our feasts,
as we soaked in
every colourful cue
of our small summer fair.

"Roll up! Roll up!"
would come the call
as we secretively
wrote our names
and furrowed for kisses
under boardwalks and stalls,
while the world's
great dim deep sound
reverberated around us,
echoing a tantalising
bang! bang! bang!
of bumper car rides,
cushioned by nothing else
but the ignorance of youth,
childish joys cooked with
a delicious array of smells:
of grape sweet desserts
hanging from rafters to dry,
and roasting corn on the cob
in crackling, smackling embers.

Such carniverous memories
feed hungrily now on small
leftovers from that carnival child,
birthday cake slices cut too thin
from a childhood encased
in marzipan recollection -
because there was
no need to count the candles
blown out back then,
we still clasped our eyes shut
with the same fervour of hope
in the wishes made, and
there was no reason to
acknowledge anyone's existence
but our own -
or measure the amount of regret
that would one day
bridge the two.

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