The big top’s empty now.
The crowd’s gone home.
The trainer’s put down his whip
and lions and tigers are safely
asleep back in their cages.
Dim are lime and spotlights.
Yellow glow caravan windows
as juggler and clowns wipe
clean their grease paint smiles,
strip off their sequined clothes,
and prepare for bed. One by one,
the lights go out until darkness
rules menagerie and circus.
Only in the heads of little boys
and girls do the dancers still dance,
the ponies still prance, the tamers
still crack their whips and hold up
their chairs to keep wild animals
glued to their perches, while high
above, in the bedroom’s canvas roof
wire walkers strut their stuff, above
white sheets and the safety nets
of Teddy clutched, and mattress.