Spring 2010 Poetry Competition First Prize

Moving On

by Jonathan Pinnock


Sophie’s mother wakes

in the early hours,

sits bolt upright in bed,

cranes her neck and

holds her breath.


“Listen!” she hisses.



Her husband grunts,

rolls over and ignores her.




She gets up and peers out

through the curtains,

and sees that it is true:

they are gone.


No more clowns vomiting in the gutter,

no more midgets fornicating in the bushes,

no more jugglers smashing plates in the tea-shop,

no more elephants parading down the high street,

no more packs of lions roaming on the Common,

no more funambulists atop the telegraph wires,


and if her mother were to look

in the bedroom next door,

no more Sophie.


For in the dead of night,

with a hushed ruffle

of canvas and rope,

the circus just left town.


 ©2010 Jonathan Pinnock

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