Ukrainian Children At A Country Fair 1906 by Daniel Brown

Ukrainian Children At A Country Fair 1906

—After the painting Carousel, by Olexandr Murashko (Ukraine) 1906

Nothing erases
children riding wooden horses
a centrifugal force
of growing up

joy of a Saturday afternoon
casually dressed in national costumes,
so natural
against red flashing dusk

the country fair is filled
with crowds in a kind of peaceful solidarity
native food, laughter and expectation
for nothing

except floral garden dresses
and the music of wood and metal
black and gray horses circling
up and down

like Cossacks on raging horseback
with screaming swords
and empty bushel baskets
coming to plunder a childhood

weekend of ordinary delights
and red draped backgrounds
more terrifying and beautiful
as decades pass.

by Daniel Brown

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Editor’s Note: In this ekphrastic poem, a sweet, playful childhood scene transforms into something more sinister with the application of time and knowledge.