Fairground colours fade with sunlight;
chrome still glints, but tawdry pastels
replace pounding neon, and disproportioned
Disney silhouettes pale under ragged awnings.
(Notes for a poem, rather than a finished piece.)
There’s little sadder than a fairground by daylight: it’s like seeing theatrical costumes close-up and realising the jewels are paste and the royal robes are held together with tacking stitches.
But when the rides are packed away, and ropes and cords are whipped through grommets and the canvases and tarpaulins are lashed down ready for transport, you can’t help but wonder where they’re heading and which Saint’s day they’ll be celebrating next.
Do children in the UK today dream of running away to join the circus? And do the young girls wait for the handsome gypsy lad to come back next year when the fair comes to town again?
Those stereotypes that are a part of my (non-pc) childhood make much more sense to me here in Spain, where every village and hamlet, and every separate district of the city sets up fairground booths and rides to celebrate the fiesta del patrón.