STEP RIGHT THIS WAY
Barbara Lydecker Crane
The county fair barker brays, “We are such stuff
as dreams are made … our fair then fades away”
this fair, and all of you, so young and fair. Lift
your spirits, and let imagination light the way.
“My tent contains the world. I promise no rough
eas if you set sail with me. Step right this way!”
From the crowd one young man snorts a laugh.
Proffering a dollar, he barges up the entranceway.
The barker lifts his hand. “Whoa, young scruff —
what’s your rush? This is not a motor highway!
A single-engine brain curtails your trip by half.
Explore with every sense to make better headway.”
Then the old barker spins his lilting spiel, a riff
that makes the young man nod and start to sway.
“Now you hear the ocean and crying gulls. Adrift,
nose a-twitch in a briny barrel, you’re a stowaway.
You dream of a hot meat pie and a frosty quaff,
till you’re snug in a pub on a cold night in Galway.
When you’ve drained your tankard quite enough,
you stride to the sea and gawp at the Milky Way,
spread overhead like the curve of the earth. If
you wish it, your mind will take you all the way,
anywhere you want to go.”
Lad, why the huff?
You expected an actual trip in my fair getaway?
Imagination is all! Make that your epitaph.
Now, while you’re able, go revel in the midway.
BARBARA LYDECKER CRANE has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and ALPHABETRICKS. Recent poems have appeared in Angle, Light, The Lyric, Rotary Dial and Think Journal. She gives two reasons for her enjoyment of ghazal writing: she likes knowing where a line is headed, and she appreciates that both her first and last names have more than one meaning. Lydecker is not so lucky!