[38] Rain, Laura Ann Reed

In late November my father
takes me to the circus
in San Francisco; he drives
across the bridge in steady rain
and parks around the corner
from the circus grounds;
his black umbrella floats above my head
like some great dark bird
that only wants to shelter me.
In the crowded tent
the elephants are dancing
to a trainer’s whip;
the world spins
and blurs as I push past knees
and clapping hands;
outside, blasts of autumn wind
lash the black umbrella
until its ribs poke through
the battered frame;
my hair and clothes are soaked
under my father’s overcoat.

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