Circus Circus

for Jakob

Last night we watched
the trapeze beauty
do her little death
the third time that day:
Let go the bar, tuck,
flip and open
into the fall
into the air
into the net
to end the show.


My grandson, riding my shoulders,
straddled my neck and clapped
at his parents’ urging. Earlier,
he lightly fingered my ears,
working the ridges, finding the hollows,
as we strode two-tall through the casino.
He needed no prompt. This is his applause.


Through this morning’s goodbyes he slept
away in a different room. He is small.
He won’t remember. I too am small,
but in a different way. I don’t forget.