Poetry on a (Random) Friday

AN EMPTY SEAT
Victoria Nations

An empty seat, and you know it didn’t start that way
An empty seat, when the ride crew always fills them up
Still, the screen shows an empty seat, and no one seems to notice
But me, standing in line, watching the photos flash up

I thought I saw a shadow in the photo that flashed before
It looked like a shadow, but I figured it was a glitch
Or the fake rock next to ride there, where the crew member sits
Hidden in shadow, for the jump-scare right before the drop

Shadows don’t usually have a blur of color, but this one does
Shadows are usually dim, but this one is bright
Maybe it’s a smudge on the lens, or something moving too fast
For the camera, blurred and rushing through the frame

You don’t often see a clown queued up, but I guess he rode the ride
You don’t often see a clown off the clock, just everyday
The smeared white makeup is startling, but especially that jacket
With happy reds and blues, clashing with his cruel face.

People splash drinks all over theme parks, but not on the rides
People can’t bring anything that will splash on the seats
So those wet tracks are odd, but I’m sure they’ll be mopped up
He must not have minded, since he’s getting on  again

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