Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happiness Is a Ticket to Ride

The painted horse went round and round, 
spinning to the calliope’s tinny sound.
She looked out at her parents’ smiles,
forgot the night-times for a while.

She wanted it to never end,
the painted horse her only friend.
For a time she could forget
the drinking, violence, uttered threat.

Happiness was a string of tickets,
her dad bought at the grated wicket:
ticket to a land of dreams
where she forgot those night-time screams.

Its big brown eye, its painted smile,
escape for just a little while;
her eyes of blue, wondering  and sad -
she waved each time she passed her dad.       

She dreamed, she dreamed
of a real horse with kind eyes
in a green field,
and a white house of peace
in the background,
so pretty it was almost real.


  1. I wonder sometimes that the houses don't scream out in the night from all that comes to pass within them. Such a sad poem Sherry. I hope the little girl gets her dream someday.

  2. This reminds me of that song, "Luka" by Suzanne Vega. Sometimes dreaming is all a person has.

  3. This is so poignant, Sherry! I can picture her as she "looked out at her parents’ smiles." The last stanza tugs at my heart.. sigh..

  4. Reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's Circle Game, Sherry. I haven't been on a carousel for such a long time - now I feel I must run off and find one!

  5. A heart-rending poem. I could see it all through the child's eyes.

  6. I have a feeling that this might be moment that saves her until she can leave. Bruised but alive.

  7. So beautifully crafted, this heart-breaking tale. One I'm all too familiar with. Wonderful write, Sherry!


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