The Ferris Wheel
Ferris wheel at dusk
the stomach turning Shoot the Shoot with screams
no fair, no ferris wheel
hot dogs, funnel cakes, shoo fly pie,
lemonade, cotton candy, soft ice cream
goodbye sand in the car hatch
goodbye elementary classroom
deck lights on all night
we will all write a poem we don’t remember writing
the fair all dark and silent stars shining on empty fields
populated by roving gangs of turkeys
maggots in the trash
goodbye hummingbird in the backyard who wasn’t especially friendly
November too far but maybe there’s light at the end of the
people who can’t follow directives
summer nights grow long and days short,
the memories of long ago fairs
so long noisy neighbors in the rental next door
my favorite the duck pond with the fortunes on their bottoms
bye bye Farmer’s Market
my seventh generation tomatoes
scraping my knees on the hill while skateboarding
Hello to my choice of parking places along beach road
peopling my mind with visions of cotton candy and corn
trinkets galore, all to be had for a ribbon of tickets.
I’ll miss the intrigue
the neighbor kid belly flopping into the pool
they say it’s darkest before dawn, but will dawn come?
I am at the top of the wheel just as it is about to descend
when your stomach drops, but, oh, the view for that moment at the top!
you’re too short for that ride, he shouted, but i dashed past and got on anyway.
foot long hotdogs with mustard and green green relish
we still find reasons to laugh
welcome no line at the S & S to get in and out quickly for just a few items
crisp and cold red, red grapes
I dreamed Willem Dafoe moved into our guest house
Toss the ball and try to hit the bull’s eye!
Impossible, you say, and he hits it on the first try
I won’t miss looking at license plates as if they had some special meaning
She got off the ride and threw up on the fancy lady’s shoes
goodbye to fresh sweet corn from Morning Glory
we will all find a way to be kind of an enemy
who besides a bird takes a bath in its own drinking water?
sometimes I pretend I’m asleep on a flat rock
in the middle of a stream
Welcome geese flying over Sweetwater Farm
how much longer can we do this
Maybe we make our own fair, in our own yard
or in the caverns of our tiny minds.
we hitched through the desert and got out in the dark
in the middle of nowhere
scorching sun and drought — the planet protests
It was great to be a kid at the fair, wasn’t it? Or maybe it wasn’t.
the dog show. shaved poodles, and the rock stars the shepherds
cicadas churning humid air
I’m afraid we will be unchanged by all this
the little teacup ride
Hello August Sticker my car passed inspection
for another year
Hello powdery mildew dusting tomatoes
Christmas tree left up from last year
china plates with dainty pink & blue flowers
hummingbird carved from wood
iridescent glass seashell
sky-blue meditation cushion
August days get shorter
darkness comes before we’re ready
why am I always losing my car keys in my dreams?
Winning first prize for your mom’s pickled green beans,
and looking with wonder at the pickled pig’s feet. Quelle horreur!
avoiding my own small downtown
Goodbye fresh peaches and hello apples
can the soul of America even be saved?
“The Ferris Wheel” was written in late August in a Poetry Drop-In class led by Donald Nitchie through the Vineyard Haven library. The theme of the poem was the Ag Fair, end of summer. The group used Zoom so they could all contribute lines to the poem at the same time, without knowing what the others were writing. The authors are Ann Lees, Ellie Bates, Christine Burke, Cathy Patsva, and Donald Nitchie.
Poets with an Island connection are welcome to send their work to the Poet’s Corner facilitator, Laura Roosevelt, at firstname.lastname@example.org.