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County Fairs And Red Balloons
Author: Shiloh

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county fairs
and red balloons
and the ferris wheel turns
in the background...
lights on the midway
as dusk turns to dark
and the call of the carnies
wanting your dollar...
and the spun cotton candy
all pink and so sweet
gets stuck to the face
of the teddy bear won...
and we promise tomorrow
we'll come back for the shows
and we'll sit in the top
of the grandstand...

oh, we smiled and we flirted
with each other's hearts,
and we had so much fun
together...
we had found each other
quite by accident
one late summer day,
and friendship grew to a promise...
we were unsure of the path
we were walking along,
as we'd never been there before,
and though nervous, we continued...

two people from two worlds,
not lovers, but trusting strangers,
wanting, hoping -
for what, we didn't know...
but we had such a great time
at the county fair,
and her smile outshone the lights
all around us...
and we knew from that moment
what we had was exciting,--
it was a beginning
of a beautiful adventure...

for two young lonely people
to find each other like this
was such a thing of beauty,
that it was frightening...
and we treasured the feelings
and respected the value
of the gift we were being given,
and just enjoyed being together...
we were able to be happy
with an ice cream soda and two straws,
or a walk in the park,
holding hands and dreaming unspoken thoughts...

she returned north
to her school and her studies,
and we wrote letters
and we talked for hours on the phone...
and a couple of times
I drove up to see her,
and she took me around
and showed me off to her friends....
it was a special time,
a warm, happy time,
and those memories stay with me
even now, all these years later...

we were looking forward to winter
and the holidays that we would share,
and the fact that I would spend them
with her and her family...
I will never forget any part of that evening
when her mother called me,--
it was a drunk driver,
and she died instantly without pain...
and the world just turned black,
it was all so unfair,
there was nothing that I could have done --
and would I please attend as part of the family...

my intention in writing
is to tell you if you ever have something special,
don't take it for granted,--
grab it and hold onto it and try to never let it go...
make every moment a memory
like a picture in your mind and in your heart,
because life takes curves that you can't see beyond,
and sometimes the unspeakable happens...
and though time does help close over the hurt,
it will never quite heal the pain of your experiences,
and while you will be able to go on with your life,
you won't see things so innocently, ever again.

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Comments on this poem/writing:

Bipedalguy (75.67.182.104) -- Tuesday, October 16 2007, 01:46 pm

Nostalgia , both sweet and sad.

This is so beautiful that I find myself wishing that the sad part were fiction, but the words seem to say it's all true.
What a tragic loss for her and her family and to you. I'm so sorry.
 
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