far end of the last horse barn

spinning lights
screaming girls
cotton candy and midway mud
seasoned carnies vying for attention
exhibition barn
old men and strong whiskey
plaid shirts and worn flasks
an old world, new to my young nostrils
rebelliousness permeates the air with the smell of animals
my throat burns and i resist coughing
old enough not to tell Mum
young enough to call her that
back to the main arena
find my father
sit beside him in silence
arms folded
a step closer to manhood
but holding my breath

- Adam MacDonald