Sunday, August 26, 2012

State Fair

State Fair

When it’s state fair time
I must go at least once
If not twice or even three times
I might miss something
Something big
And everyone I know will be there

If I can’t be there, something is wrong
Like some silent disease
I’d grow jealous of the happy adults
Waving their corndogs at the television cameras
Smiling because they’ve reentered childhood
And I have not.

My history is carved into its buildings, its grounds
Once the fair opens
Ghosts of my past reopen like a well-loved book
Full of memories, moments
Reliving my stories from the outside in.

Early morning, I meet friends at the Star Tribune
The foot of the grandstand
The concrete bridge leads you up into its second floor
A windowless garage
Reminding me of a flea market in Florida

Ronco salesmen and Christian book retailers call out to me
“Take a look at this!”
United Stores has moved away and so has the customized dog tags
That I bought in honor of my first boyfriend

Walk sidewalks that I walked the year before
And the year before that
Crossing my own path
Walking around in circles like a lost hiker
In search of a cheese curd or a fudge puppy
Or the nearest bathroom on a stick

Leaping over legs,
Dodging strollers spread out to rest
On street curbs and small patches of green grass
Trampled and wet

I stop for food
The Armour foot long by the haunted house
The mini donuts near the Grand Stand
The food building shuffle
Peters hotdogs, French fries, taffy, and elephant ears

Stopping in at the art center, dog and 4H exhibits,
Butter carvings in the dairy building
Stumbling over seniors in Heritage Square
Whose numbers double every year

A mandatory appearance at the barns
To greet animals’ behinds
Pick out a favorite goat, horse, and swine
Ask myself why there are chickens in the sheep barn?

Head over to the coliseum, so I can walk another circle
Stop for horses trotting in for their show
Spilled beer mixes comfortably in the dust
Urban cowboys and girls walk with chocolate covered strawberries,
Trying on western shirts and picking out oysters with pearls

One stop for cheese curds
Another at the Giant Slide
I walk by honey candy, bees and flowers

I ignore  “all the milk you can drink” signs
because the price is too high
a beer at the bazaar makes much more sense

I spread  myself over to
Ye Old Mill and
The Midway at dusk
So grateful that the carnie yelling is not my nephew

Feet aching, but content I ride the bus home with
Overtired, sugar induced children and parents passed out on fun
I return with bags and papers,
One more yard stick for the closet
And a half filled container of Sweet Martha’s

Tired and surprisingly hungry for something a bit more healthy
and less expensive than a $6 hot dog
I did it, I’m done.
“How was the fair?” my friends ask
“Oh the same” I answer. 
But that’s why I like it

Robin Sauerwein
August 22, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment