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Saturday, July 16, 2016


Long ago, in our
small Wisconsin town,
where every need was met.
Just one grocery store,  
one diner,
thirty-two taverns,
plus five churches,
no less, no more.

It was between wars,
our fathers back from
overseas, our mothers in
the home once more.
Rationing over,
gardens still in style,
but frozen dinners had
their place for sure.

There were comics,
radio too,
pin-up girls galore,
Slinky’s, Silly Putty,
a fat-tire Schwinn
our greatest treasure,
save for sun and shore.

When the carnival
came to town,
there were posters in town,
shouting, "clowns, a Ferris Wheel,
games all around."
We tried ring-pegs, and
darts thrown at balloons,
and bean bags tossed at
boards on the ground.
There were wrestlers,
and goldfish in small bowls,
a ping-pong ball toss to win,
midst the noise of the hucksters,
 the freaky old clowns.

The thing I hold on to,
remembering now,
are the smells of the popcorn,
and corn dogs, cotton candy
spun out of nothing but air,
man how they'd wow.

It was the best of
a life filled with smiles
more than frowns.
In a life too complex
it’s a joy to recall
the day that the carnival
came to our town.

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