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long, but a fast read!
“Grandma, please take us to the fair,”
in unison, the grandkids pled.
The boy was 10; the girl, just 4.
“OKAY! Let’s hit the road,” I said.
The nearest open parking space
was many yards shy of the gate.
We walked, engulfed in summer heat.
They didn’t care. They couldn’t wait!
Then suddenly Alisha squealed,
“Look, Grandma, Billy! Did you see
the clown with funny-looking eyes?
He was behind those big tall trees!”
“I didn’t, Honey,” I replied,
and Billy said, “She’s got a wild
imagination. I did too
when I was just a little CHILD!”
I bought their armbands at the booth.
I sipped my Coke and watched them ride.
We blended with the jostling crowd,
with grandkids close, one on each side.
I held her hand, but she wrenched free.
(She always does!) I called her name.
Then—there she stood, not scared at all.
She said, “Grandma—the clown, he came—”
“He came from WHERE?” I told myself
there was no reason to be scared!
“Behind that hotdog stand. He said
he had some candy. Look! He shared.”
I tossed the candy in the trash.
With eager eyes, I searched the crowd.
I questioned others, “Have you seen
a clown?”—my voice a bit too loud.
One man said, “At the rodeo
I saw two clowns—one, dressed in red;
the other, purple. Both were short.”
(Should I feel better?) "Thanks,” I said.
Alisha shook her head. “The clown
with ME was TALL, and he wore blue.”
Her brother rolled his eyes. “OKAY!
C’mon. I’ll win a bear for you.”
As I stood near the kids and watched
my hero grandson win a bear,
I froze in terror when I saw
someone had gapped Alisha’s hair!
“It’s getting late. Let’s go,” I said.
The pervert with the “souvenir”
would never touch this child again--
so young she hasn’t learned to fear!
I told the people at the gate
about the “clown.” One drawled, “I see.
Well—thanks.” He yawned and kept his seat.
Another win for apathy!
February 26, 2019, entered in Julia Ward's At a Fair Contest
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