Clowns are falling to earth early
And wandering with the wind.
In the alley between tents
Fear is struck like a bargain, like a match.
No one knows what it meant to their easy ears:
“Allez, allez!” Off you go. Come, come now.
A crackle on the police scanner, the leaf
Crushed under the big high top. Away with you.
Author’s note: Regional organized groups of clowns are called “alleys.” The source of the word may be from the alley-like space between circus tents where clowns waited for their cue to enter; or from the cue itself, a traditional “Allez, allez!” which can be translated in any of various ways, depending, perhaps, on the clowns. // JS