All clowns are painted evil at the mouth,
lips red as the blood they dine on
that day of laughter’s cruel reckoning.
And she wonders why I’ve no wish
to be dragged closer to the creature
on the penny-farthing bicycle,
or his evil twin that chases the tiny black
and white dog around a sawdust ring.
Sure some kids are almost spewing out
their guts with raucous bellowing
but I’m clenched tight to her skirts,
hiding my plain white face
from the multicolored abominations
that leer into the crowd,
choosing victims at random
with bulging greased-up eyes.
And politicians are evil incarnate.
Famous names would just as soon
stab you in your bed as gift
you their books, their cures,
their place in your history.
The acrobats are flying through the air,
catching each other brilliantly.
But if I leaped up, they’d drop me.
It’s a sick kind of humor
when what’s funny is what terrifies a boy.
And no one’s trustworthy.
With their horrible hues, they
don’t even look the part.
Only my mother is not a clown,
a politician, or anyone famous.
But she did drop me once.