Today's poem is by Brent Pallas

The Clown's Mother

She's worried. He's out again
in his big shoes, confident
as a clear blue sky, radiating
bewilderment like the spring sprung.
That little pinch of disregard popping
its red balloon in him. Every habit
of the inappropriate filling his pockets
concealing doves with endless blossoming scarves.
Look at me, he seems to say.
Some inner ball of faith bouncing
at the precipice of every occasion:
birthdays, picnics, elephants lumbering
toward retirement. He always
comes back. She knows this. Safe
as two hands tucked away into pockets.
His big red nose a moon glowing
over the dark and dishes of every moment,
the playlot bullies, the unswept debts,
whatever refuses to budge.
That's when he walks in without a breath
of doubt, slipping on peels of disbelief,
a king in his element, grasping reason
through an angry crowd, juggling saws
with the wings of whatever he touches,
resplendent as a leaf blown in
from the rain, carelessness
dripping off his big floppy shoes.
While all her earthly burdens: the would haves,
could haves, should haves snap and snag
in the wind like just-washed pajamas.

Copyright © 2006 Brent Pallas All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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