The Fair

By Joshua Mehigan b. 1969 Joshua Mehigan
The fair rolled into town surprisingly
intact, like a plate unbreakable because
it has been dropped and glued so many times
that it is all glue and no plate. The fair
was no fair. But, oh, it was a thrill!

The fair slid into town just as a clown
slides into pants. The fit was loose but right.
The sheriff  had a job directing traffic.
The barber was the sheriff  for a night,
and people paid to see a human ape.
They frowned to find her happy and alive.

The fair spilled into town like a box of tacks.
Later that month, in with the rest at church,
were people no one knew,
though none could tell exactly who was who.

Source: Poetry (May 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Joshua  Mehigan


Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and earned a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Influenced by the poetry of Philip Larkin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Edgar Bowers, Mehigan writes intelligent, morally complex lyric poems shaped by a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Critic Adam Kirsch praised The Optimist in a review for the New York Sun, observing, “Mr. Mehigan is Frost-like in the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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