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"Circus" (writing) by Kelly Alexandra Hoff

“I once was a little girl, 

I now feel like an old lady…”

“I sit around in my dresses, waiting for visitors.  I always keep a lamp on in the south bedroom, in case I want to work.  There’s a sewing desk and a map.

There once was a little black boy that lived next door.  He lived there with his brother.  And his mom.  He looked like he was out of the civil war.  

I bake some bread from the store  I’m learning to make tarts.  I have clotted cream on my list too.  It’s been on there for quite a while.

I think there’s a war outside, so I think I’m gonna stay inside….

I once lived in a small town….  with a gas station, a church, and bars on every corner!  My favourite was “The Speakeasy.”  Brigette & I went there when we were just “girls.”  lol.  (that means “laugh out loud.”)  I guess we were in our late 20s.  (I guess I was in my late 20s)

We’d go to the bar together, and a nice skinny man, I’ll call him Clive, would buy us drinks.   

I’ll never forget that bar.  

I imagine myself a little girl….  living in that old, blank, white, apartment we lived in.  Me and my boyfriend.  He’s my best friend.  

I’m a little girl putting up a picture on the wall, I drew, of tall, skinny man with black hair.  He has a microphone.  

He’s like Jesus!  

The ladies on the tv look up at him when he sings, like he’s Jesus!  I like him.  I wonder if one day he’ll be my friend!  

I turn to my friend, a man, with a beard and  moustache.  He’s older than me.  (but not really..)  And ask,

“Why can’t you hear the animals????”  

But can he???

Then, I look down at my paper, “I can’t ask him that!”

He makes me eggs.  We have yogurt!  Key lime!  An old singing teacher of mine used to like key lime pie.  He moved to Singapore.  

I like my friend a lot.  He’s my best friend.  

He took me to the circus once!  When I was an adult!  We hung outside the by the fence & looked in!  And saw the big tent!  

It was closed.  There was no one there.  lol.  (I like to say lol.)  

I decide to walk around.  I’m gonna find…  

(“I’m gonna find…”)

I didn’t tell him who.

I didn’t tell him out loud.  

Now I’m an adult again…  


I walk around town, after, down the apartment stairs….

I can still smell the stairway.   It smells like home….  before I went crazy.  

Before my man left….  

I walk all around.  

England’s far away.  

This was the last place I felt normal.  Newburg, Wisconsin.  Population:  400.”  

~ Kelly Alexandra Hoff, “The Circus” (written:  February 22, 2022, edited May 6, 2022.)

published online:  May 6, 2022

Circus: Text
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