the greatest show on earth

yesterday, I had the good fortune to be reminded of something so sweet
it permitted me almost complete peace with the world
and entire happiness with planet people
as I watched with anxious mom eyes, young men and a few women too–
my son among this intense leaping group
willingly get tossed about sprawling mats and body slammed through practiced experience
I escaped a few moments for coffee

there in a deep fluorescent hallway
away from the hearty stewing odors of an enclosed winter gym
a little blonde tyke, resplendent in cherubic pink cheeks and wild child whimsy
his laughter and stubby legged runs–
the penguin-like waddles of a boy not yet near man territory
tearing up and down the checkered oatmeal tile, he flew on socked wings
I, trying to stifle a grin
(honestly, more for the creases now carving into my retreating lip flesh)
simply could not stop smiling, beaming in fact at this whirling dervish
and then he, who lost a fierce hallway sprint to a taller little girl, in their run for the shoeless roses
proclaimed to any and all observers (a line I wish I could take credit for)
“she made her socks run faster than mine”

in this morning’s paper
an article printed on the closing (after 146 years) of, “The Greatest Show on Earth”
this media headline is incorrect, perhaps even yellow in its presentation
yesterday I watched The Greatest Show on Earth in a small high school hallway
and here–the most entertaining truth
the little socked boy’s name was
elephant eye:trunkand for the record, I am joyous for the animals, large and small who should never dwell beneath any big top other than sky





10 thoughts on “the greatest show on earth

  1. Beautiful work AnnMarie! I am feeling great between all the writing, your book and The Pats beating The Texans on their way to a 5th Superbowl ring I am so pumped and distracted. I am going to hang out with Greg today. Only 44 songs for 44 more women in my new musical ‘My Leading Ladies!’ AnnMarie’s song will be excellent!


  2. I’m just about finished reading a new book by Charles Baxter (love his work) who writes about micro-detailing as it relates to subtext. The book is blowing me away. But, here’s what I mean to say about your post: It, this post, does exactly what Baxter talks about, and it does it so wonderfully, AM. The details, the details, the details. There’s so much going on on more than several levels–wonderful. An epiphany indeed, as if in describing “your special moment” you have created for us, the readers, an equally special moment. You’be stopped the spinning world with scene. Beautiful. And as for the circus … well, just let me say I agree: when the curtain was pulled back on reality we all saw that the dream world of elephants and other circus animals was in fact a nightmare, for them. I hope elephants and other wild creatures can go back to their real shows, their real homes. And … one last thing: the art, superb, my friend. I’ve got a new theory about your art, which I’ll have to share soon. 🙂 DS

    Liked by 1 person

    • that’s a book I must add to my list – thank you
      sometimes, I’m unsure if a mire things down too much with details-I’m so very glad this piece reads okay-a went back a few times to clean up the details-I thought a bit too wordy
      and as far as the circus-yes-no animal should be forced to endure such pain and indignity behind the guise of entertainment

      Liked by 1 person

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