Eighth grade celebratory trip was to Play Land
Our local amusement park
We all bought tickets and spread out
I went to Dodgems where you drive around in small cars
Trying not to get hit
But if you do—if, say, George keeps bumping you
It means he has a crush on you.
And then the House of Mirrors
If you’re fat you can look fatter
Or thinner, how you think you really look
And if you’re thin, don’t look
And then the Roller Coaster
Open only to ages 12 and above
Don’t stand directions say
Absolving Play Land of suits
When thin is thrown to standing
And maybe even killed
Next are the Biggest Wheel cages’ gentle rides
Up and around with distant views
I went with Hillary, most popular eighth grade girl
And shared my binoculars.
She turned away and oohed and aahed
Oohed and ached at far away Long Island Sound
And when we disembarked, I had to ask again
For my binoculars back. Not once, but twice
As George ignored me but greeted her.
Mom asked later, was your day amusing?
I answered, Hilarious!
Poem by Jane Muir. Artwork: Wonder Wheel by Julie Ryan