More Than We Bargained For
but how to know to back away
from the carney’s table with its tokens?
To have a child, for instance,
is to begin serving a life sentence,
the fortune-teller says—some time
in Sing-Sing, some in the mad house,
much, when we look back, on a Coney Island
Steeplechase. We start at the Tunnel
of Love, which leads to the Hall of Mirrors.
Then come the Bumper Cars, with rides
on the Merry-Go-Round between.
Each time it stops we beg to stay on
for one more song. But the barker says
we must sample all the rides
before closing and next
comes the Parachute Drop.
You know what I’m saying—
the Fun House isn’t always fun,
but at least there’s cotton candy
for the ride home.
(U.S. 1 WORKSHEETS, 2000)