by Jaime Lee Moyer


When summers came,
Dad ran off to join the circus,
His annual rebellion against frumpy suits
And selling swampland on the Martian frontier,
Or so it seemed to those who didn't know him,
Didn't see the sparkle in his eye dim in
Winter's darkling days and endless nights.

My mother knew.

Mom held his heart by
Never asking him to surrender dreams,
Taking me to visit big top tents set-up
On red dust plains not yet Terra-formed,
Tears filling her eyes while we cheered
And clapped with all the rest,
While Dad flew from trapeze to trapeze
Flipping and looping at the top of the tent,
Cheap silver lame glittering in the spots.

When winters came,
Dad told me stories of summer tours
On outpost worlds before I was born,
Regaling me with tales of practices in zero g,
Of how a billion unnamed stars shone starkly
Blue against ink dark lunar skies
And the thrill of working without a net,
Teaching me that gravity and fear only hold
You tight to the ground if you allow them to,
And promising that when I was ready and sure,
He would teach me how to fly.



About the Author:

Jaime lives next to a river in the wilds of Ohio. She writes books and stories as well as poetry, assisted by two warrior kittens who help her chase the Muse. In her spare time she is the Poetry Editor for Ideomancer Speculative Fiction. On most days, she can honestly say life is good.

Her poetry has appeared in Kenoma, Between Kisses, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Strong Verse, Illumen, Star*Line, Raven Electrick, The Sword Review, Dreams and Nightmares, Lone Star Stories, Flashquake, Beyond Centauri and Aeon Speculative Fiction. Her poem "Once Upon A Time" was nominated for a 2006 Rhysling Award.


Poem 2006 Jaime Lee Moyer.  Painting by Georges Seurat.