Scavenger Hunt | Sara Backer
Sara Backer is the author of a novel, American Fuji, and a poetry chapbook Bicycle Lotus, which won the 2015 Turtle Island Poetry Award. Her writing has been honored with seven Pushcart nominations and fellowships from the Djerassi Resident Artist and Norton Island Artist Residency programs. She has lived in Washington, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, Costa Rica, and Japan, and travelled widely. She currently resides in New Hampshire and teaches writing at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. For links to online publications, visit www.sarabacker.com.
Before the circus rises on the field
conquering grass with guy wires, stakes, and ropes;
before it breathes through red-striped canvas lungs,
deploying magic cats and elephants
to hypnotize the children, tempting them
to stand between two horses as they run,
or spin on wheels while knife-throwers define
the boundary between bodies and souls,
the fortune teller works the coffee shop.
She writes her orders in symbolic script,
wipes tables, swiping coins and stuffing bits
of whispered gossip in her rolled-up sleeves.
None of them recognize her when,
with crystal ball, she sells them back their lives.