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There's something quiet about a porch

halfway through May, the moon shifting,

hiding behind old pines, after midnight,

like a thief looking for love and

acceptance, adolescence burning bright.


There's something still about a porch,

something cool and silent except

for the two dollar bag of handmade clowns

waiting to come out of a forgotten basket,

or clown closet in a purple room,

to bring merriment to a sad shelf

with their lopsided smiles

and smirking eyes.


There's something about soft clowns,

all sizes, floppy ones with saggy pants

and pointed hats, polka dots and

large feet, that is endearing

because each one is so different,

and can never change

how they were made.


Made by someone's grandmother or mother,

eyes forever frozen, embroidered smiles eternal.

Sewn with love, unsigned but unappreciated

by people who fear human clowns.

I felt apologetic about the price,

but the woman was happy at the end of a hot

yard sale day, hot as in unseasonable.


That was two or three years ago, me not knowing

that the empty space of fish tanks

and my silly attempts to amuse my husband

would become a source of fleeting happiness

for both of us, as we make our journey

through this awful wonderland.