Tea for Two


Image source: Unsplash.com

Tea for Two

Controlled nocturnal chaos.

Streamers painted onto charcoal skies.

Screams, squeals, shrieks pierce the void.

Neon-pink catastrophic, organ-grinding joy

spinning, twirling, lurching,

clutching the restraint bar

with a tiny left hand,

bracing for the spinning,

twirling, lurching,

that somehow hasn’t

spun us into oblivion,

spinning, twirling.


Lurching into another

seemingly random direction,

gripping momma’s arm

with a tiny right hand,

wondering how she

could possibly laugh with delight

at our pending deaths

from all the




into the blurred lights

as I willed my tears not to fall,

showing momma

I’m a big boy now

and could endure the




in stoic silence

while others my age

lost their composure and

sometimes partially-eaten

cotton-candy to the random




of this gigantic

many-armed neon demon,

spinning, twirling, lurching away from

our demons down the street at home

that smelled of reefer, whiskey, angry shouts,

and disquieting nocturnal thumps, inevitably

dimming to aural fragments;

haunting, lingering, lilting,

unmistakable sounds of

momma sobbing.


But she loves the teacups’

spinning, twirling, and lurching and

though I’m more of a merry-go-round

horsey-guy, well who knows how long

they’ll be down the street from us

spinning, twirling, lurching,

making kids my size sick with fear

and nauseous with motion?

All I know is

I ain’t never seen momma

crying her eyes out while

spinning, twirling, and lurching

on the teacups,

I get to show her how brave I am

lurching, twirling, and spinning,

and I get to eat cotton-candy

that’s bigger than my whole body!

That’s a pretty sweet deal.

And so I grimly endure the spinning,

twirling, lurching nonsense

as if it’s no big deal and

not the worst thing

that’s happened to us all night,

because it isn’t.


Lillian is hosting today’s Poetics over at dVerse. Today, we’re digging into our memories of amusement parks, carnivals, state fairs, and whatnot and so-forth.

I enjoyed this prompt, though my subject-matter might suggest otherwise. Sure it’s a melancholic memory for me, as most memories tend to be for me, but in that moment I was a small child who thought he was lifting his mother’s spirits by being brave for her. I haven’t thought of it in a very long time, and it probably would’ve remained buried if not for this timely prompt.

Feel free to drop by and also check out the other dVerse poets’ contributions to this theme.

27 thoughts on “Tea for Two

  1. the tiny left hand and the tiny right hand…..wonderful details here. The repetition of the spinning whirling twirling….and their changed forms……..all add to the feeling of the teacups here…momma and her little boy. I was on this ride with you……and, by the way, I HATE the teacups or any rides that go in circles and especially those that go in circles jerking lurching at the same time. I commiserate with this little boy….trying to make his momma proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super poem! I like the details of the little boy being strong. I haven’t been on any rides in years but I do enjoy walking about the local county fair and looking at all the peeps, the exhibits, and all the action and of course, nibbling on a funnel cake. Very descriptive poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being brave is what it’s all about isn’t it? Probably one of the few occasions your Mom got to laugh and have a good time and you were instrumental in doing that for her because she probably would not have gone on those rides on her own without you. I like the juxtaposition of the colourful fun fair at night in contrast to the reality of ‘ home ‘ at night with those disquieting nocturnal thumps and your Mom sobbing. Excellent work !Poetry is a good exorcism for lurking demons. Keep writing Barry. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The formative years are a blank slate where our main goal is to be good citizens who are awesome to one another… somewhere along the way, we screw it all up.


  4. So much pressure on little boys to be “manly”! You have a gift for drawing us into your stories. Bravo
    (By the way, I read elsewhere your thoughts on bloggers not being taken as seriously as wordpress folks. I’m involved in 3 art challenge blogs and my own blog at Blogger, so I’ll just have to settle for being taken lightly! lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    • My apologies, Bev. I worded that poorly. What I meant was that when people see randomname.blogspot.com, the assumption folks typically leap to is spam-site or abandoned blog. I happen to know many wonderful poets using blogspot domains that are absolutely serious and talented poets and writers (yourself included).

      Conversely, I know folks who bought hosted domains who don’t quite know what they want their voice to be yet. I was just announcing that I’m ready to level-up and see exactly where I fit on this whole literary Internet thing.

      Sorry for unintentionally disparaging your work. I should go back and reword that thing. 🙂

      And thank you for the comment and for bringing this to my attention. 😉


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