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November Circus, a poem by Mary M. Brown

November Circus
by Mary M. Brown

We perform in the center of a ring
000000of autumn labor, the cycle of mulch
0000000000000000000and crunch, walk the lawn’s tight

rope over and over, back and forth,
000000stand inside this circle and wonder
00000000000000000000if we are jugglers or clowns, adept
0000acrobats or lion tamers, so many

bright bodies flying through this air
00000000000and wriggling beneath our feet, our
000wind-rouged cheeks stinging more

than a little until we debate whether
0000000000000this work we know we need to do
000000is a ringmaster we are slave to or if

000000as we always thought, we are daring,
0000000000000000000colorful, and comically free.

From Mary M. Brown: “I live and write in Anderson where I am retired after teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana Wesleyan University for thirty years.”