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Part-time Clown
by
Richard Allen Taylor


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Not meaning to eavesdrop, I heard the lady say
her nephew was a full-time paramedic, part-time clown
and imagine this guy at a children’s birthday party,
twisting long balloons into animal shapes
until a car runs a stop sign on the nearby street,
crashes into another.
 
                                    The clown lets go
the untied end of a green doggie, the kids giggle
as it chases its tail briefly, then flittles to the floor
with a final spluff.
 
                                    The clown pivots (as much as a man
wearing shoes that big is able to pivot) and stumbles outside
in his polka dot jacket and baggy pants, his soles
slapping the driveway, knees pumping extra high
to keep from tripping.
 
                                    He grabs
his EMT kit from his Chevy S-10 pickup
and lunges for the wreck, finds one driver dazed, the other
unconscious. Our hero clicks on his headset,
calls his buddies at 911 while bandaging
a nasty head wound.
 
The injured man revives for an instant, whimpers
and lapses again into unconsciousness.
 
                                   Later, he will
describe to all who will listen 
how he crossed over into the great beyond
and before returning, saw the pasty-white face of God,
the crimson grease-painted lips, the multi-colored mop 
under the pointy hat and that huge blessed red rubber nose.

© by Richard Allen Taylor.
Used with the author’s permission.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Richard Allen Taylor lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a Regional Human Resources Manager for a retail automotive dealership group. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Taylor, having no idea he might someday want to be a poet, passed up an opportunity to double major in psychology and English because he did not care to enroll in the two semesters of poetry required for the English degree. After dabbling in poetry in his late 20s and early 30s, he abandoned poetry completely until, encouraged by friends, he picked up the pen again in his 50s. His first poems were published in 2002. Since then, his poetry has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies and he has two books to his credit.

 


New comments are closed for now.
nadia ibrashi:
A wonderful poem. Thanks.
Posted 09/10/2011 11:59 PM
trailpny:
what a wonderful poem! God as a clown, we are clowns, we too are God. That is profound.
Posted 09/10/2011 10:49 AM
Jane Shlensky:
I love it, led on by well-chosen details of each profession and the shifting POV. Great!
Posted 09/10/2011 10:19 AM
Jane Shlensky:
I love it, led on by well-chosen details of each profession and the shifting POV. Great!
Posted 09/10/2011 10:19 AM
wendy morton:
The story is wonderful, the pace of the poem delicious. What a way to begin a weekend!!!
Posted 09/10/2011 10:07 AM
wendy morton:
The story is wonderful, the pace of the poem delicious. What a way to begin a weekend!!!
Posted 09/10/2011 10:06 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
I love it! The irony! The belly laugh humor! Man, this is great!
Posted 09/10/2011 08:19 AM
KevinArnold:
Oh what great fun. 'then flittles to the floor/with a final spluff.' Who needs a dictionary or thesaurus when you can create such alternates?
Posted 09/10/2011 08:14 AM
phebe.davidson@gmail.com:
What a grand, twisty journey this one is! And how wonderfully built!
Posted 09/10/2011 08:14 AM


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