Pete, with Pistol by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


The county fairgrounds are full of grubbish
and rides that spin in circles.

Crying children so ugly some mistake them for carnies.
Old cigarette butts squashed into the cinder path
by the entrance.

And Pete, with Pistol.
The evening’s main attraction.
Some fool in a crash helmet who agreed
to be shot out of a cannon.

There is a net positioned a few hundred yards away,
but no guarantees.

Which is the reason for all the excitement.
His main competitor overshot the net a few weeks back
at some fair down south.

Pete is now the only show in town.
Waving to the crowd and giving his customary thumbs up.
Then it’s down into the cannon.
A quick nip at the flask for courage.

© 2020 Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Follow Ryan


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, BlogNostics, In Between Hangovers, The Rye Whiskey Review and The Oklahoma Review.


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