Peter Klappert


Thanksgiving


What a day to dismantle a roller-coaster.
Well, they are taking it down--
the tracks are all over the ground
and the ties drawn up. The ticket office
is shut, the calliope covered with tarps.

These workmen move their rides
from town to town, with the weather,
and a day gained dismantling
is a day to them. They are grateful
for the day gained, and for the silence
in a park where only ducks and I remain.

As if against the numb fall sky,
sounds of hammers and crowbars
and the changing voice of one man's oldest son
rebound from pond to light pole and away.
Tomorrow they'll be on their way
to Arkansas, or a place they haven't
been before; today they're making time.

Today they're making time. The doors
of the van are open, the van is dark.
The cars stand there in a line, as if
they are not well or have something
to tell the man who stands on the tail-gate.
This corner of the park is nearly flat.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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