She in her corset, fanning her face
Stiff muslin shoulders, gloves of white lace
About her knees, the taffeta storms
I rub her frail fingers to keep them warm
Me, dressed in pleats and a cummerbund.
Me, with notions of having some fun
She, with her hair in tortoiseshell combs
She with a hope to try the unknown
Unfurling song, the calliope,
Midway scents of fried chips and honey.
On candy striped legs, ponies prance by.
Up ahead, something catches her eye.
Steam unspools from a gleaming smokestack
A silver bench rests on a short track
The engines' rhythm a steady thrum,
a resonant pulse, a heartbeats' hum
A barker smiling a tightwire smile
Greets us and says, “Stop in for a while.”
He enfolds us in the harness lash,
then sets the bend on the track with a clash.
The lady gasps as she takes my hand.
(This is going much better than planned.)
“Your first time?” he asks, his eyes alight.
Her eyes answer him with sheer delight.
A tip of his hat, he bids, “So long!”
A twist of a crank and
We soar skyward, the Lady and I
Her hand in mine, together we fly.
My tie a tongue, happily lapping.
My waistcoat wings are wildly flapping.
Her whalebone bodice splits at its seam.
Suddenly, she is as free as a dream.
Flutter of skirts and lolling of limbs,
Like ships on the sea, soundless we skim.
A kaleidoscope of wheeling light,
We soar through the air, all day and all night
Her hand in mine, and mine in hers
the breeze in her loosened tendrils stir
Says she, “These new dreams that we have found,
May they last always and never come down.”