Everyone remembers when the animals broke loose. Tigers prowling through the midway. Snakes charmed by the spotlight at center ring. Chimpanzees storming the stilled Ferris wheel to reach the children at the very top. After, they swept the wreckage into the sewers, used memory as threat, the ringmaster, telling weeping infants too young to know, “Stop crying or the monkeys will climb the Ferris Wheel.” They put down the tigers, the snakes, the chimps, shipped in new ones, shining cages, but the animals never forgot.
Amber Edmondson is a poet and book artist who lives on a decommissioned Air Force base that is probably haunted. Her work has appeared most recently in Menacing Hedge, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Yellow Chair Review. Her chapbook, Lost Birds of the Iron Range, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press in 2016.
Artwork: Egene Koo, “Three Circles”