Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Day at the Circus

That is not an elephant you see there,
said the boy's father,
but a four-metre-high, two-metre
wide, five-metre-long - that's forty metres 
cubed - grovelling lumbering lump
of submissive beast, mood
full to the brim with grey
like an overgrown puddle.

The boy listened, eyes wide,
a distant pain flaring somewhere inside.

And that - that is not a lion,
said the boy's father,
but an old man with a grizzled mane:
a foolish baleful old beast, a bane
to his patient, violent trainers,
so sparing with the rod.
That clawless, toothless old Tom
won't even swipe the flies from his face.

The boy observed, concerned
at the feeling growing fainter, more faint.

And you are not a person,
said the boy's father.
You don't even matter, in the greater 
scheme of things: what good could you do?
What could you change? There are people
who run the world, and attitudes that run
the game. Let ignorance win, don't rock
the boat: stay the waters of the status quo.

The boy fell in upon himself, flickering out.
Blackness and blankness, vacant now,
the pain like dying echoes down the bottom 
of a well. The animals danced. The audience 
roared. And all went to hell, hell without pause.

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