For children The Circus has a special matinee performance.
At noon. This is when the cowboys come out.
All real circuses have cowboys.
They ride side-saddle, backwards. Standing.
Their horses do not overly mind the small galloping circle.
Three generations of performers born in captivity.
So they did not forget. They never knew.
Sometimes the horses would love to buck off the cowboy, ruin his show.
They are cheeky like that. They know their power.
The horses are glad for their blinkers. They keep the noise of people out.
The horses know their moves. They cruise through their routine.
The cowboys tip-toe up and down their spines spinning lasso.
The horses laugh at the prancing men and dream of saving the tigers.
The girls in gold glitter g-strings get everyone’s attention.
The bored men straighten their backs for a better view.
Black feathers, corsets, suspenders. Heels.
Tits everywhere. Bonus.
Jesus. Those matching backsides.
Where is the wife looking? Not at me. Nor are the kids.
The one on the far right is hot, hot, hot.
Very, very nice. She would look good bent over the bonnet.
Oh no. Boner.
It’s been three weeks. And that is some faceful of lady.
Nod, for fuck’s sake. She is watching you watching.
What? A Coke? Now?
The trapeze artists watch from the wings the goings-on in the audience.
Theirs’ is the show that comes on after the glamour-girls finish.
It is as popular. Flying people are compelling.
The opening contortionists that unwind themselves from the shadows at the top of the tent
are not called ‘aerial silk’ for nothing.
Their display is a tale: red/orange/yellow/green/blue/indigo/violet
and people read the way they ride ribbons in their sequinned spirals, stretches, spins,
telling the story of The Circus’ evolution.
The trapeze artists have an opening act. Theirs’ is the evolution.
In fact, trapeze artists can smile these days.
Circus politics have begun to change in their favour.
Respect is now being given where it is due.
Theirs’ has become a kind of autonomy in the ranks.
Even the ringmaster stops what he does to watch them fly.
They enjoy their daredevil status. It is years’ worth of work.
As before, they brought their skill to the table, the trapeze artists. Nothing more.
Nothing more was needed.