In the ephemera section of the book-sale
there’s a large pre-War circus poster
as bright as the day it was pasted up
onto factory walls or bus-shelters.
It has the lot: lions, elephants and clowns,
death-defiers, freaks and ring-leader.
It offers, for only a penny or two, hours
of diversion for weary worker and child.
Its survival worries me, that it still
promises this motley charivari of fun
that it cannot possibly deliver, remaining
to remind us it will not return to town.
Copyright © Richie McCaffery 2014
Richie McCaffery lives in Stirling and is a PhD student in Scottish Literature at The University of Glasgow where he also works as a graduate teaching assistant. His first pamphlet is Spinning Plates (HappenStance Press, 2012), followed by Ballast Flint (Cromarty Arts Trust, 2013) which was the runner-up for the 2014 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His first book-length collection, Cairn, is due out in June from Nine Arches Press.