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Closing Hours

by Caitlyn Giles Bonekamp

The night's adjourned and so are we;
Smiles etched into weary lines on our young faces,
We laugh as we stride through the watery blanket of soft light
That streams through the eyes of a gentle Wheel.

Hearts like odometers once pounded in tune,
To the cling and clang of rusted gears and tokens won:
The chorus of youth and wonder.

Empty fair grounds now haunted with imprints of laughter,
The ghosts of a thousand trails left behind by wonder-filled minds
Circle our bodies like the invisible warmth of a slow burning flame.

Time moves slowly after midnight,
Ushered in by sleepy stars, it numbs our thoughts of passing moments,
Until, like the blending of paint on a darkened canvas,
Each second blurs into the next; A slow symphony of treasured time.

Crowds trickle out the exit,
Like grains of sand pouring through the slender waist of an hourglass,
Eager to drink the final drops of nostalgia that leak out the recesses of the carnival,
Like raindrops escaping a swollen eavestrough.

Empty booths like cavernous mouths,
Agape in awe as they watch the last of their guests pass them by,
Left alone to wait out the dark
Until their friends return again.

Goodnight, adieu, thanks to all,
Shadows stalk us like gentle ghosts,
In the dwindling light of the Great Carnivàle.