Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE WONDER WHEEL by Peter Nolan Smith

It was a good day to visit Coney Island.
Memorial Day was America's introduction to summer.
It had been a long winter in New York.

Ellen was with her friends.
The Argentines wanted to see the sea,
But there was no way to refuse the rides.

None of them went in the water.
It was too cold, but the sun was hot.
They walked back to what was once The Great White Way.

The Giant Elephant was gone,
So were the bathhouses,
But the Wonderwheel stood its ground.

Ellen and the Argentines rode the Wonder Wheel.
Their car soared into the sky.
There were no clouds.

Only the beach, the people, and the cold green Atlantic.
From the top of the spin Ellen saw people in the water.
She could feel the cold and thought, "How cold could it be?"

The hoi polloi leaping off the pier knew how cold.
Ellen took photos from the top.
Photography was her art.

None of her models were in the Freak Show.
Ellen was an artist
And artists see the truth where no one else sees it.
Even from the top of the Wonder Wheel.

The Wonder Wheel stopped and Ellen got off the ride.
Her friends looks at her, "What next?"
She was not from New York,
But the first time she came to New York,
She came to see Coney Island.

The years had not been kind to Coney Island.
The Cyclone was ready for arson.

NBA star Stephon Marbury came from the Surfside Gardens.
He learned ball on those court.
Those boys had a tough game.

Then was a long time ago
And now was today.
Ellen turned to her friends.

"We can go to Nathans."
Her friend Peter had suggested a hot dog there.
The Argentines said, "Yes."
Nothing was more American than a hot dog
And nothing was more America than Coney Island.

It was the world.



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