Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Monday, April 18, 2011

Clowning Around at the IRS

by Linda Gamble

Behind the desk, wire frames pinch
the tip of his nose, a pile of 1040s
sit neatly before him. Phone rings,
he sighs, braces for the onslaught,
then SLAM!

Next file surprises, Occupation: clown.
A white face looms before him, voiceless,
happy to see him. Large gloved hands attempt
to pull his slack mouth into a smile. a horn
is honking somewhere, a happy horn,
not the blare of the street. Confetti falls
to his desk, he smells popcorn, there are
jugglers. They balance files on their heads,
toss wireless phones, a calliope is heard
in the men's room. He investigates.

Before the mirror, startled hands fly
to his whitewashed face, squeeze
a rotund red nose, stroke rainbow hair,
snap a polka-dot bowtie. a smile
he recalls spreads across his face.
He carries it back to his desk,
challenges the incessant phone.

"Are you the clown who sent me this letter?"

"Why, yes, yes I am. Listen
have you heard the one about...."

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