On the way to Cape Cod we stop in New Haven, city of my birth. The refurbished carousel at Lighthouse Point is the attraction. A mostly cloudy morning, only groups of children from day camps on the beach. Each sports its own distinctive tee shirt. No one in the water. At low tide, the gray glassy sea spreads out flat in the distance. The pavilion housing the carousel is open, but empty. The horses look as fresh as I remember them. Shiny black or white, dappled grays, rich mahogany. Guilt edged benches, gleaming brass poles. All the glitter of my youth restored.
A young woman sells me a ticket. "You have to wait for that group of campers." She points to a bunched mass of six and seven year olds squirming in a ragged line. We take a walk away from the campers and the carousel. Unlike the pavilion, the park and other structures are worn out. Scrub grass and blown beach sand. Chipped paint and graffiti.
after fifty years, smaller
Back at the pavilion. "Come on," says the young woman. "That group will take all day to get organized." She turns on the carousel lights and the calliope. By the Sea, In the Good Old Summertime, On a Bicycle Built for Two.Old songs from the pumping calliope, old even when I was a child.
a lone rider
on the merry-go-round–
here and there a ghost
Contemporary Haibun On-line, spring 2006