Stood up at the Sheboygan County Fair

Joan Wiese Johannes

Crazy for being so lonely
she pulls tufts of sweetness
from a cotton candy tutu
as big as Dolly Parton’s hair
while the thickening August air
sticks the spun-pink cyclone
stiff as an Aqua-Net do.
She is pretending to watch
a juggler in a sequined vest
spin plates on poles, gliding
from one to the next,
tweaking them when plates
wobble like alien spacecraft
falling from the sky, but she is
really eyeing the entrance, 
ready to jump up and wave.

Suddenly a thunder
of raindrops
pounds the grandstand, 
spit-waxes the stage, 
and sends the juggler
slipping, sliding, and falling
through a waterfall
of fractured china plates.
He sputters to his feet,
falls again, and she
laughs until tears roll down
her cheeks and rosy goo
runs down her wrist, 
leaving her holding
just a paper cone in her hand.

 
 
Joan Wiese Johannes

Joan Wiese Johannes

Joan Wiese Johannes has published four chapbooks, including Sensible Shoes, the 2009 winner of the John and Miriam Chapbook Competition sponsored by the Alabama Poetry Society and He Thought the Periodic Table Was a Portrait of God published by Finishing Line Press. She co-edited the 2012 WI Poets’ Calendar with her husband Jeffrey, and also collaborated with him to create a book of humorous sonnets, Happily After After, which she wrote and he illustrated. Joan has served Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets as a regional vice president, and currently is co-chairman of the Triad contest.