The Fair

BY R. S. THOMAS

The_Fair

The idiot goes round and around

With his brother in a bumping car

At the fair. The famous idiot

Smile hangs over the car’s edge,

Illuminating nothing. This is mankind

Being taken for a ride by a rich

Relation. The responses are fixed:

Bump, smile; bump, smile. And the current

 

Is generated by the smooth flow

Of the shillings. This is an orchestra

Of steel with the constant percussion

Of laughter. But where he should be laughing

Too, his features are split open, and look!

Out of the cracks come warm, human tears.

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