Circus | Tina Barry

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After the measles stopped scratching   my teacher Mrs. Schwartz takes me to the Barnum and Bailey’s Circus   She takes Me   none of the other girls  This is my first circus   I am so tired because I couldn’t sleep   Mrs. Schwartz drives and sings Frére Jacques and then we both sing Frére Jacques   A woman drives next to us and smiles  I move close to Mrs. Schwartz   I want the woman to think I am Mrs. Schwartz’s daughter

When we get there two clowns are smoking cigarettes outside   One sees me and squeezes his big red nose   Behind a curtain I can see a bearded lady who is smaller than I am   There are pictures of man twins that share one body   and dead babies in jars that I do not want to see    elephants wear flowers around their necks and march in a circle   one big tiger climbs up a little ladder  I feel sorry for it   A man with a big curly mustache wants him to jump through a ring of fire   The tiger does not want to jump so the man cracks the whip

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