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“The Carousel”
Each one was made
out of a single block of wood
there were 13-horses in all
all hand carved, sanded and painted
by just one man
the induvial detail on each
and every horse was exquisite
each had a strikingly different
you would look at one
and know right away
it was a runner
built for speed
the lines of its body
its fluid motion while running
captured in wood
you could close your eyes
and run your hands
along its body
and you would swear
you could feel
the muscles ripple
underneath your soft touch
or maybe your drawn to
one of the mares
who’s eyes are so
sharp and bright
the soft features of her face
just make you want to
hug her around the neck
so beautiful and alluring
you can almost feel
her long flowing mane
slapping you in the face
as she runs along side
the other 12 wooden horses
some of the other favorites
are the yearlings
their youth and innocents
with those long lanky legs
paired with their bashful
turn of the head
looking back at you
in such a playful manner.
He took great care
in the up keep and maintenance
of his 13-horse carousel
the brass poles
that they rode a pond
were always polished
with great care
all the painted surfaces
looked vivid and brand new.
The carousel only ran
one day a week
every summer Saturday
from 10:00am to 2:00pm
with a short 10-minute break
every now and then
as he put it
“To feed and water the horses”
he only charged a dollar
for a 5-minute long ride
but he had a sharp eye
he could tell if a kid
or maybe their parents
might not have an extra buck
he made sure that
they always rode for free
he loved that face
a small child made
a look of amazement
as they watched the horses
run and prance past them
he knew right away
which horse each one
would pick out
their eyes following it around,
twisting their necks,
trying not to lose
visual contact
as it went behind the carousel
then seeing their eyes
get real big
as their horse
comes charging towards them
as it gallops from around the bend.
Many of the parents
say they remember the old man,
they would tell you
he was the same old man
from when they were a kid
when asked
he would just smile
and say
“Probably just the foggy”
“Memory of youth”
The summer sun
has begun it’s slow ride
towards the far horizon
not very far away
making sure no kid
gets shut out of getting
their chance for a ride
he calls out
“Last Ride of the Day!”
then he carefully takes in
the day’s last selection process
as each child
quickly interviews a horse
making sure it’s
the right horse for them
then switching over to
watch the parents,
reliving their youth
as they watch their child
ride into a fantasy
on the backs of
the wooden horses
that seem to become alive
underneath their child’s weight,
he never tires
of these faces,
no day is ever
quite the same
but the hour has struck
and the ride has to end
the summer dreams of childhood
will have to be put on hold,
till the sun
circle’s back around
pushing a new Saturday morning
out in front of it…
     Tom Allen…07-31-2017…

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`The Carousel`