Carousel by Elaine Ewertz

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

When riding a carousel, the scenery changes at every turn. Some people stand watching, some leave. You choose your horse and sit, in the same place but moving at the same time.

My beating heart
Churning like a gelatinous ball
Soldiering on with too little hope but
chugging along just the same.
A red wet mess of arteries and cables
networks and chambers
All that we trust can be taken away
 in a flick of a switch, a pull of a plug, a
-wait for it –
beat of a heart, a snap of the fingers.
32 years is much too soon
So much I wanted to do
I beg the dusty white popcorn ceiling,
just one more chance.

I held my sister's hand
We laughed, holding the cavity-causing crunchy when wet
airy sugary surprise in your choice
of baby blue or innocent pink.
The luscious sweet smell of caramel apples
mingle with greasy fried corndogs
Sparkling yellow curls
under the flashing lights of the Victorian carousel
Hundreds of gold bulbs shining into her blue eyes
reflecting the pink and green horses
smiling as they go around, a permanent state of carefree joy their only job

Her high silly giggles scorch the late night air
with youthful ferocity,
no knowledge of the glittering knife that pierces a heart in love
when its been rejected, ripped out, tossed aside
no fathoming of a cold bed in an empty room
surrounded by machines and bags of fluid
Helpless to save her from the ways of the world that
will rain down upon her like jagged glass
and change the laughter from high to low, silly to cynical

White trembling, almost translucent, hand over my heart
Slowing like a train pulling into the station, sluggish pull
lumbering motion, the weight of inertia dragging the passengers'
weary overworked bodies to a grueling –
Just when you think it will –
It keeps moving at the slowest pace you never thought possible
Like reaching up to pull the fan string, watching, waiting for it to –
It lumbers, laboriously slow, a creeping, teasing near-motion
that when you stare you cannot see when it stills
the only way to be sure is to reach up and touch the dusty blades
But that stops it

My hand on my heart, still beating
It should speed up at the thought
But maybe apathy will win in the end
I think I remember learning the brain remains
active a few moments after the heart has ceased to pump



Submitted: August 16, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Elaine Ewertz. All rights reserved.

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