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At Overbrook Fair

by Chris Sorrenti

This cotton candy
tastes too much of magic mushrooms
coca cola
sickening sweet reminiscence
of the hundred at a time amphetamines
you’d sell me
no questions asked
though questions from now on
all we’ll be

Sitting on the grass by the Ferris wheel
to put ourselves at ease with the familiar
bells and whistles of the tilt-a-whirl
in the distance
making us both dizzy
pretending desperately nothing has changed
our kids playing within eyeshot
as they always have
fortunate in their innocence
not to know who and what we really are

Far from lovers
yet much more than friends
the bittersweet irony
of me surviving all the riffraff
came and went through your door
come to this
both agreeing my stint in the hospital
a necessary evil to quell the poisons
I can hold no grudge against you giving me
you who dropped me off at Admitting
with a kiss for good luck

And lying in bed this night
finally out of treatment
the fair - you
still fresh on my mind
over the rides and game stands
may they forever now go to sleep
a train whistle blows
far off in the distance

 photo fairfear_zps0e6aebdb.jpg

© 1999
Photo © Bonita Hein

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Author's Note: The actual timeline for this poem is 1988-89. One of the closing pieces in Along The Vertical Horizon.

Posted on 04/28/2014
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 04/28/14 at 03:21 PM

Poignant nostalgia with a happy ending. The remarkable illustration highlights the events.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 04/29/14 at 04:28 PM

Really a fine piece of writing, Chris. I've come back to it several times. A fascinating relationship with this person who supplied you but then helped you get help. The fair seems like the perfect venue for describing this process you went through - I get thoroughly sick on motion rides, so this is a good trigger read for me. A most effective last stanza of this part of your life fading into the distance. Thanks for this.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 05/06/14 at 04:31 PM

Chris, I love the line about less than lovers, more than friends and this ode is more than an ode, but something ticking inside, like coo coo, to remind us, how good, how vital, less than lovers yet more than friendships will do us in time of need and to top it off with a kiss, is bliss to a bard, who will take as many as he can get in times or remission.

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