Literary Orphans

Carnival of Worry by Lucy M Logsdon

Remember when our worry could carry

the show: shimmy, jazz hand, top-hat glitz,

frantic, spangled fear.

We tried, but could not keep the stamina for revival—

even after a decade or two of good reviews.

Exhausted, we cut costs, tamped down

overhead, reigned in the snarling lioness

of potential deaths, the elephantine butt

of who left the lights on, who drove in reverse.


We grayed, tamed our terrors, toned down

their banging marching band. No more

tubas at midnight, hysteria at one,

drinking by three. We conveniently forgot

cash for our housekeeper; Our computer

auto-deleted What Will Becomes of Us.

Last night I reached for your hand,

but punched your nose. You barely flinched.

Love is not a vital word. I value you

for your body’s heat. I want my solitary

ending and you yours.

We talk about the weather, your children,

my poems. Funerals are frequent, easy, fun.

We smile. Not us, not yet.


The carnival rides are closed.

Save one, The Pool of Oblivion.

Gently, its waters open, then close–

One ripple, maybe two. So sad. Let’s eat.

Pick a new pasture. Roam. Meander. Call my name.

If not dead, I’ll whistle so sharp

your ear will burn from my breath—hot,

near, dear.

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Lucy M. Logsdon lives in Southern Illinois where she stewards ducks, cats, horses, land, family and community. Her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in such venues as: Contrary; Gingerbread House; My Body, My Words; Pure Slush; Drafthorse; Rust+Moth; Thank You for Swallowing; POAINTRY; Five2One; Dandelion; Seventeen; Poet Lore; Tuck and Isacoustic. Nominations include Forward Poetry, Best of the Net, and Pushcart. Among her awards: a MacDowell Residency, Inprint Fellowship and Academy of American Poets College & University prizes. 

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Piotr Kaczmarek