I always laughed at the idea of the loony bin.

Kooky crazies cackling in clown costumes,

introducing themselves as Bill Clinton.


Everyone says their parents are crazy,

but few have a mother like mine

who with a bullet ruined her new hair-do.


She really did wear clown makeup once,

when she sobbed after a soiled soirée

and left the smudges all over her face.


Sometimes she wore a clown wig, too,

when she nervously yanked on her hair

twenty-three times in a row. 


Maybe her red nose was the way

she huffed and heaved, unable to breathe,

when she got all frazzled and fidgety?


My clown gave the performance of a lifetime, 

because no one ever realized it was a show

until the circus lights faded.






Samantha Friskey lives in Bowie, Maryland, which is only an hour away from her playground, Washington, D.C.