When The Circus Comes To Town

The circus comes to town: one star performer is The Clown.
Outlandish in his style, he wears a fixed and painted smile.
Though not many would agree, he looks sinister to me
And the image of his face is just a vacuous, empty space.

Will he ever be so kind as to grant me peace of mind
And define the dread I sense when they construct the circus tents?
Explain the reason I must go to each and every show?
I would like to question why, but he might give me a reply.

As gravely silent as a shroud, he entertains the crowd,
Who are oblivious of the guard around his jovial facade.
Trapped like a rabbit, I must stay as he begins his private play;
The one reserved exclusively and that my eyes alone can see.

His evil gaze and sinful mime...I'm out of touch and out of time
As the scene, now strangely dim, is filled with images of him.
His wicked grin becomes a leer and chips away the smooth veneer;
How well he knows I dare not ask what lies behind the bogus mask.

I snatch at life-giving breath as a deep desire for death
Snakes its way into my soul and I grapple for control.
His threats, unspoken and unsaid, echo like warnings in my head,
As the delighted audience roar and, through their laughter, scream "Encore!"

At last, I struggle to my feet and run headlong to the street;
Too afraid to look behind...too afraid of what I'll find.
In the end though, come what may, I must face The Clown some day;
Maybe then, perhaps I'll know why he devastates me so.

Lukewarm sunlight starts to wane as a cool, refreshing rain
Tingles sweetly on my lips and my heart no longer skips.
The moon is distant and sedate and quite indifferent to my fate,
But the traitorous Autumn breeze drafts my secret to the trees.

Fallen leaves which strew the street swirl in puddles round my feet
Then dissipate into the murk where blurred and clouded shadows lurk.
Within my reverie I hear an engine whistle loud and clear;
It is the circus train bound on its journey once again.

Present danger in the past and breathing easily at last,
I can now persevere...til it returns again next year.
I wander through the quiet park and find I'm menaced by the dark;
Vague phantoms skulking in the gloom wink at me with smirks of doom.

In the sepulchral hush of night, the circus gone from sight,
I roam the lonely town and am confronted by The Clown.
The cosmetics disappear and lay bare my rooted fear;
Though I see him everywhere, he was never really there.

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