Magic from the inside

I am stuck in the conjured darkness,
mere pipe-cleaner, fluffy punch-line.
A thousand sharp screams penetrate;
giggles like flick knives reach inside.
The kids are having a great time.
I wait. Wish for real transformation,
of this black to a field of satin green,
soft as the emerald handkerchief
he converts to clover with an extra ear.
But breathing is a trick in itself, I find,
here in the crushing long tube of night
before sudden birth into searing light.
Then staccato taps of two dozen hands
on a hopping, fat balloon who squeaks.
He pushes me into the cage and says
I tried guinea pigs but they bit.
Hats off, I say, to the pigs with teeth.

P.S. Cottier

This poem was highly commended in the Gold Coast Writers’ Association Adults’ Poetry Competition, 2009, judged by Graham Nunn. (I like to send my poetry to sunny places, where it gets a tan and fake platinum blonde hair and a fluorescent bikini, before coming back to Canberra.) The topic was magic, and I thought of the unfortunate animals that perform at children’s birthday parties.

Now for other poems, most of which are probably not wearing swimmers, even of a practical cut, but rather beanies and ug boots and woollen socks, click this feather:
Tuesday Poem