Penciled eyebrows arched in surprise
bright red lips and stiletto heels
short white gloves like her mother wore
and always a billowing skirt,
crinolines attached for extra flounce.
She struts through life to decorate the scene
takes center stage to raucous applause.
Shoes come off, skirt removed
she twirls it above her head
three loops, then let sail
caught by the lucky wide-eyed man
sitting in a front row seat.
Each movement choreographed
her legs curve round the rope.
She ascends high and higher still
seeks the spotlight’s heat,
craves this life,
to dangle and curl
high above the circus floor.