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Thursday, November 19, 2020


by Richard Kravitz

No one laughs at the orange 
monster, the clown 
outside the circus tent. 
In the open air he is frightening 
or pathetic. Clowns 
come and go. The enterprise, 
the circus itself, with its three-ring
allegories of the rugged individual,
the self-made man, southern hospitality,
the land of the free and the home of the brave,
the circus persists. The ringmaster
departs, barking his ugly song. We know
there is another, waiting, sprouting
from the sweat of armpit,
covered in greasepaint. 
The show must go on, does go on. 
If we so choose,
we will pay the price of readmission. 

Richard Kravitz is a psychiatrist in New Haven, Connecticut. He has published poems on medical themes in JAMA and other medical and psychiatric journals.