Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Circus in Germany

A small Roma circus drags Evolution
to Bretzenheim, tacks up posters,
circles battered vans and trailers,
lets animals and children out to stretch.

A llama and two camels with flaccid humps
stand beneath a canopy, munching nothing,
about them the air of wisdom and dung.

A child rides a hippopotamus onto grass.
She looks like a wart on a planet.
The hippo becomes a gray boulder
upholstered in leather. Its teeth are
as big as my fist, its legs as long
as my fingers. How many million
years ago was it a slender fish?

Villagers cut through the park
to peer at the bestiary. a stinking
goat, smirking camels, and stunted
ponies. Children under the tiny
plastic Big Top can be heard
to scream with glee. In there
creatures and people jump through hoops.

hans ostrom