Laugh, Clown, Laugh! by Kathleen Proctor

With a rictus smile upon my face,

I cavort, juggle, tumble to order.

The audience disposed to mindless laughter.

I hate all of them. The happy families

With their contented lives, their fat children

Stuffed with burgers and hot dogs.

Look at me. Stupid face, stupid clothes, stupid life!

Another custard pie, another silent scream.

Another pratfall and I just want to stay here,

Prone, sinking deeper into the sawdust.

A seething mass of disgust revulsion and regret.

I clip clop on with my outsize shoes,

Grasping my bundle of red balloons.

Each will explode, like a gunshot in my head,

Leaving behind only useless, collapsed detritus,

Like the pathetic remnants of my life.

I grin, but I cannot bear it.