Chameleon - UBC's Journal of Children's Literature
v 1 n 1
Spring 2003

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by Ginger Mullen

Saturday at the park is like the circus
Neely went to with her dad.
Children flip
like acrobats
across the trampled lawn.
A line of grown-ups jumps through
to get some extra food.
Neely's lip gloss, like candy floss,
goes unnoticed by her mother, busy
talking to her friends about the
running the government.
But Neely leaps across
the sidewalk cracks,
for the Hatman,
the dancing man,
who always makes her laugh,
the way her dad once did.

She hears a faint familiar beat
from up the street. The radio sings:
Boom    Boom    He's coming soon
Boom    Boom    He's coming soon

She wants to impress him,
straightens sundress straps,
combs fingers through summer hair,
hopscotches past
women in worn shoes,
men in faded
shirts, past
empty carts and
shopping bags

and curtsies to
the Hatman.
The wind nips at
the coattails
of his tattered,
torn tuxedo.
He tips his
hats towards

Hello, she says, hello.

I must be in
heaven, Miss Neely
You look like an angel.
Would you care to dance?

Radio still singing,
the crowd forms a ring.
They surf and spin,
they laugh, they grin,
they whirl and swirl and twirl until
itís time to fill the bags.

Until next Saturday,
Neely will dream of dancing
like she used to dream of going
to the circus
with her dad.
Illustration by Kathryn Shoemaker      
Read by Ginger Mullen       

Chameleon: UBC's Journal of Children's Literature

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