She tilted her head to gaze at a sky of fallen twilight,
Her rose-tinted cheek pressed against the chilled windowpane
And she watched with her amber moon eyes
The Farris wheel in all its luminous glory,
With its rainbow of electric radiance
In its constant cycle of endlessness,
With enormous machines of steel rotating at its base
Rendered harmless by dazzling lights and glitter brightness
Whispering only of laughing children and painted horses.
She gripped her ruffled petticoat, crumpling the flower-printed fabric
Between delicate, spider-like fingers so rosy and small and thin
As a sigh of overwhelming ecstasy shuttered from her fragile, child-like frame.
"Lovely, lovely," she uttered softly to the sky, to the wheel
A stray strand of charcoal burned hair fell before the eyes
So intoxicated by this loveliness that has charmed her with its empty promises
And sweet nothings uttered much too softly to truly comprehend their meanings.
"Come away from the window Caroline," the carnival whispers
"Come dress in your ribbons, lace bonnets and gloves.
Come spin on our carousels and Farris wheels,
Dizzy your vision with dancing and lights,
Charm the children with honey-sweet songs,
Enchant a lover with your fire-bright gaze,
Dream, Caroline, dream.
Come seek beauty in this circus-labyrinth laid out before you.
Please come away from the window, Caroline."
And sweet Caroline obeyed,
As daughter of the carnival,
And yielded to its sugarcoated promises
As easily as a doll on strings.
And she tied the ribbons of her bonnet at the base of her neck
As she made her way through her little house of mirrors,
Finally emerging from her secret hiding place.