I teeter I totter Rocking side to side with nervous energy Easing the swollen joints that shout my age. Seven decades juggling Performing tricks for lord and fool alike Keeping all the vagaries of life suspended To the wonderment of all who care to see. A circle in a tent in a field Just beyond the poorest part of town Where life is cheaper than breakfast And far easier to steal away. Lions roar and tigers scowl Horses click their hooves in harmony And cruel men raise their whips At beast and child alike. Do call me Harlequin I have a thousand woven suits Colored for each season For wedding and funeral alike. What you see is what you get Nothing more but sometimes less Depends on if the creeping hunger Needs turn each act into a dish. Are you a clown? The sniveling children ask Set to make us laugh aloud Until we split our sides. Choose axe, garrote, or rope I rhetorically respond Just loud enough to make their breeches wet Then watch them flee into the shadows.