Girl at a Carnival

Her mom left her there for just an hour,
with some change in her pocket.
Too small to see over the counters,
blonde pigtails, like golden streamers.

She rode the musical carousel, mares circling to the music,
as she stroked her horse’s plastic mane.
She went around and around on the Ferris wheel,
The people below nothing more than unfocused colored dots.

He began to follow her, slowly, carefully,
the man with the jackal tattoo.
Some saw her, throwing darts at the booths,
the man with the slicked back hair watching nearby.

She watched the cotton candy spin in the machine,
pink and blue, coming together like a tornado.
He watched her eyes, fixated on the colors, the movement,
waiting for the right time to work his magic.

Because of that one day, she would forever be known as,
that girl that left with the man, at the carnival,
Her blonde pigtails no longer waving freely in the wind,
But fixed forever on every telephone pole in town.

Shelley Fleming


Shelley Fleming is an attorney practicing n Cleveland, Ohio.  She writes poetry, flash fiction and also enjoys photography. 

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