Send In the Clowns

The child:

What is that little man?
His nose is red.
He makes funny faces.
He jumps and turns and rolls away!
He makes me laugh!

The adult:

Why would someone make a fool of himself?
They always do the same pranks.
They look like they’re going to fall apart.
I could never do that.
Not in a million years.

The senior:

They act funny but it’s all, just that, an act.
They must be covering up their sadness.
For the children it’s O.K.
They don’t see the difference.
I’m too old for that.
Like Pagliacci.

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One thought on “Send In the Clowns

  1. I like this poem very much. It reminds me of Jack Gilbert’s “Dante Dancing,” where the narrator similarly moves through life’s stages.

    I wonder, is it necessary to label each stanza as “the child,” “the adult,” etc.? Or is that clear from the stanza itself?

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