Crystal Balls and carnivals,

Summer fair season in small towns.

All the same, one town to the other. The old folks perch in lawn chairs

around the edges, watching and remembering.

Young families push strollers full of toys and blankets while

toddlers insist on walking.

Young teens gather in groups,

Girls watching boys watching girls.

Girls are interested,

Boys are embarrassed.

Older teen strolls, hand in hand, and

duck behind the game tents for a kiss.

Unkempt rough-voiced men man the rides,

following the fairs from town to town all season.

At dusk, the ride lights light the horizon and

The old folks move their chairs closer to the empty, ribboned-off sports field.

Night seems to take forever to fall and

the cries of the tired toddlers is loud enough to compete with the vendor’s generators.

As the evening deepens, dew forms heavy on the grass

Soaking bottoms of pants and blankets.

Vendors hawk their greasy foods and light

sabers flash in the eyes and hands of little boys.

As anticipation builds, the crowd gathers closer to the field and

The space between the blankets tightens.

Finally, the sky is dark enough and a muffled blast gets the crowd’s attention.

The July evening sky erupts with color and sound and

another small town in American comes alive in the summer evening cool.

The tradition continues,

One town just like the other.

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