Saturday, January 21, 2006

Juggling in January

Juggling in January

My only audience members are noisy and enthusiastic
All dressed in black, they caw at me from the tall elms
I stay on the soft moist grass
A soft place to drop my red crystal ball
(It’s really acrylic but in my fantasy it is crystal).
I’m not quite mesmerizing
As I fumble it time and time again
Sometimes dropping it where it lands with a juicy plop on the wet grass.
But just often enough I see a little progress to keep me going
Like a gambler addicted to poker
I’m sure the next time will go smoother.

I switch to three shiny pins
There I find a little more comfort
And old safe trick that I know well
I put them through their paces like trained ponies in a circus
I try not to dwell on the tricks I’m not flexible enough to do anymore

I spot a bee trying to crawl into my red soda can
It gets annoyed when I try to cover the can with my water bottle
I note that there is plenty of flat concrete for unicycle riding
Maybe someday I’ll get another one-wheeled wonder
I move into the sun
Away from the bee

I spot two beautiful orange trees and flashback to my college days
When I used to juggle oranges outside the cafeteria with other jugglers
Until my hands were soaked with orange juice and we were all laughing like maniacs.

The bee is gone
I peer carefully into the can to make sure
I take a sip and then I open a granola bar
The bee lands on the can
I quickly cover it with the water bottle
But I don’t quite get it lined up right, leaving a bee sized opening into the can
The bee uses it as a door and crawls in
I wait
The bee doesn’t come out
I peek in
I see the bee awash in the soda
I slowly pour the soda onto the ground
I set the can sideways on the brick wall
The disgruntled bee crawls out
It parks on the can to dry its wings
I decide its time to go home so I start to pack my equipment up
I reach to grab the little white box for the contact juggling ball
Just in time I see the bee is sitting on the box
Cleaning the sticky soda off its wings
I swish it away one last time; quickly stuff everything into my purple gear bag
And hot foot it to my truck before the bee decides to come home with me.

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