This being human is a circus trick.
Day after day you perfect your act:
a t i g h t r o p e w a l k
between now and then,
and then back again,
one foot in front of the other.
It’s juggling swords,
eating fiery words,
putting your head in a lion’s mouth
and inhaling its meaty breath.
It’s the highs
of the flying trapeze,
the bearded lady’s s l o w s t r I p t e a s e,
and the absurdity of being a clown,
keeping the audience laughing while you drown
in your own tears.
At the end of the show,
after the final bow,
you remove the greasepaint,
extinguish the glow,
and get the bus home
Kim M. Russell, 16th March 2021
For my own prompt at dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: The Art of Being Human
‘Tight-Rope Walker’ by Jean-Louis Forain, ca. 1885, found in Wikimedia Commons