Temporary Attractions

In August they appear,
shimmering in the highway haze.
Metal caravans refracting the sun.

They set up in plain view.
In parking lots or
the rented dirt of fair grounds.

By nightfall, they’re up.
Red lights running.
The kind of cheap attraction
built to go up as quickly as it comes down.

The crowds wander in
looking for a late night thrill.
They wait in long lines
for the chance to take their turn,
to lose their breath in that slow grind
up-up-up to the top.

They pay a heavy price
for that moment of weightlessness,
lose their place on earth
for a second of suspension,
before plunging back down to the ground.

In the morning there is nothing left but trash.                                                                                Empty containers. Paper wrappers—used then discarded.

Things that once held a purpose
thrown away, for somebody else
to eventually have to pick back up.

About Heidi Stauff

Ultimately ending up in Atlanta, Heidi's creative impulses followed many paths. She delivered middle-class, white-girl, angst to tens and twenties of Generation-Xers through the now defunct rock-band, Belljar. She designed hundreds of dresses for Disney-bound little girls. She birthed two babies she now homeschools, lost and then found her faith again, and writes about all of it in her free time: which is usually after midnight with a glass or three of wine.
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6 Responses to Temporary Attractions

  1. Such a complex and vivid scene painted with so few words. Nice. And a punchy observation of the human condition at the end, the emptiness and selfishness of cheap, ephemeral pursuits. Took me a few pensive readings for it to sink in. But once it did, it was powerful. Cool rollercoaster gif too, by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jonzin73 says:

    Another brilliant poem….love the ending!


  3. jonzin73 says:

    I love the correlation here. A vivid picture of reckless selfishness amongst ourselves. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bela Johnson says:

    You will think I’m completely insane, but I would take this poem metaphorically. It’s so strange, this physical universe. I once ingested mushrooms with my youngest daughter and saw the origins of the universe. Not kidding. Neither she nor I had ever experienced anything like it – and I am still digesting what was downloaded during those couple of hours. I had never done anything close to this kind of thing before. Grew up in the 60’s when everybody was ‘doing ‘ acid. Not me. It was frightening. Pot, okay. But nothing that would fuck with my mind.

    After our experience, it took a couple of days to re-orient myself to ‘this’ world. I looked like a ghost. This kind of stretching of reality took so much out of my body! So similar to the rush of the (carnival) ride, then what was left was similar to the fairgrounds ‘after.’

    But the memory of the experience remains to this day.

    Great poem, food for thought. Aloha, Heidi ❤


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