The Merry-Go-Round© by Bob Shallenberger

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Sun-bleached dreads
striped by home­spun bands,
tou­sled and mud­dled from the
resilient north plains wind.
Long beards tat­tered,
pep­pered white and gray.
Tat­tooed skin, red
from the Dako­ta sun.
Bifo­cals plas­tic, thick and brown.
Tee shirts fad­ed mauve and sage.
Shoes pale, old and tat­tered.
Sweat­pants frayed
from count­less miles and
myr­i­ad hours train­ing,
cir­cling the oblong track.
Radios pinned to bulging biceps
con­nect­ed by cast-off bands from

aban­doned elas­tic items,
arms sway­ing with each stride.
Mam­moth head­phones with
cords braid­ed, long con­firm
style and fash­ion at once.
Mugs tint­ed brown,
bowls marked with gold
packed with bar­gain fruit
sliced with can­is­ter tops or
plex­i­glas honed in squares.
The bid will end as the
mer­ry-go-round nears
just in time for one more
to ride away, home at last.

by Bob Shal­len­berg­er

The Merry-Go-Round© by Bob Shallenberger

The poet Bob Shal­len­berg­er

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