carnival

i was so glad to be asked
the lights whirring like silent sirens glowing, turning
the rush, the rumble
of the painted cars, burning colors and stars
it was cold winter
but the flashing, the flinging, the flying
i was entranced, warmed in forgetfulness and excitement
the bright dreams of innocence
the tickling fear before recklessness
and the full belief that flight will bring freedom
to be tossed and tumbled
turned, tipped, even taunted
this was your rollercoaster
and i was delighted to be asked

so we rode. terrified, but hiding it with brave faces and saucer eyes.
with laughter and those assuring smiles.
clapsed hands. through moments swift and wild.
and faces calm.
you know how soon the ride stops.
and i thought we’d ride again.
conquer the swift drops.
but you got off when the first ride came to an end.

i, panicked, sat as the ride once more began.
frenzied up the first incline but strong as it fell
i was sure you’d miss the thrill and return.

and there, at the end, you, but not alone.
so again i rode. now mocked and by the sweep and tumble.
motion-sick and jumbled. and again but easier. and again but easier still.

and off.
this was not my thrill. not the movement of my life. caught for a moment in flashing lie.

so searching. past the carousel, the spinning cups, and the fun house steps. i sought mine. my very own.

there in the simple ride, the drifting ride, i rose. the pirate ship, the soaring boat. into the air and up i go. and down as gently. swift and slow. this is the motion my body knows. my reaching heart, delighted starts. with each new rise and resting goes through each new fall. and the breeze that blows. and i am strong. and i will ride. the gentle sweep in the moon-kissed night. and confident in the ebb and flow. you were the churning ocean, but i am the steady boat.

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