“Bring in the Clowns”

underneath the big top
the clowns wear make up
2nd ring
they hop out of a small car
one after the other
till empty Clowns
the car explodes and falls to pieces
they dance, throw water at each other
then confetti at the crowd

make us laugh clown

the clowns wear painted smiles
on their faces
bright so you can see them from a distance
broad strokes with their hands
deliberate flailing to be more visible
from the cheap seats

the top of the bleachers
roar with laughter
from the safety of the audience
as one clown strikes another
with an oversized mallet
against his head

one clown draws a gun
points it at another clown
pulls the trigger
a small flag appears from the barrel of the gun
scrawled in big comic font the word BANG!
clearly visible for all to see,

the clowns in my neighborhood
don’t wear make up
seldom smile
they pile into big cars with big tires
hit each other with crowbars and baseball bats
the guns go, “bang you’re dead”
with lightning not flags
so loud
you would think it was a clown car
exploding under the big top

the clowns in my hood
do not want your laughter
they want your wallet
your life
you better not move
this is a hold up
the clowns are angry
the intersection is the center ring
they lay in wait for an audience
and you never hear the ring master
when the show is about to begin.


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