was that day in the fall
right before the cold came
when I took my three-year-old daughter
to play on the deserted playground
and right across the street
there was a gigantic fair or carnival
with clowns and food and loud music
and people laughing and smiling;
but I couldn’t afford to buy any tickets
for the rides,
or even the small fee to get in,
every few minutes my girl would stop
on the monkey bars or the bouncing duck
and point to the wild, wonderfully-colored rides
with their lights and music.
she wouldn’t say anything,
she would just point, and sometimes
her little mouth would open just a bit;
then she’d look at me and I’d have to look away,
sitting there on the gravel by the wood beams
smoking an old, dry butt.
that was the worst.