April 2014

Six Flags over Hell

1961 a new amusement park
family outing
Mother moved puffed out adder style
purse, thermos and other baggage
tangible and intangible
crown of thorns screwed down tight

pirate ship swung over head
manned by rotting corpses
Sister and Daddy
explore rides
Mother ensconced on park bench
regales me with predictions
of small children slung from rides
tiny necks snapped

tilt-a-wheel slides
through rotating blades
surrounding air filled by pink mist
clowns appear to handout balloons
while ripping arms off children
silly enough to trust
to eat cotton candy laced
with drugs

bench after bench
we sat our way across
the river Styx and back again
grilling in the August sun

—Michelle Hartman

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