I wrote this prose poem several years ago when I met my friend’s fiancé (now husband) for the first time while attending our local fair. Since it’s Labor Day and I just went to the fair a few days ago, I thought I’d repost it again.
The aura of hay and animal sweat mingles with the bloated, mouth-watering stench of deep fryers and grease, rising to the cloudless blue skies overwhelmed with the suffocating rays of sunlight. You know that moment when Anne Shirley meets someone and immediately knows if he or she will be a kindred spirit? Well, I know. And after spending time mooning over the biggest moo-ers in the county and counting chicks after they’ve hatched, I can tell this scruffy goat is going to be a kindred spirit. It’s not just because his barnyard shenanigans fit with the frenzy of fair food and floppy-eared friends. But the manner of joining a family is like auctioning off a piece of yourself. And I think there is a piece worth giving the galloping Galapagos goat because friendships are formed over fair fries and milkshakes swirled with syrupy strains, not over chat messages or photogenic photos plastered across social media where life can’t truly be lived behind a screen. Yet the happiness of horses are heffalumped with the hays and neighs of shared experience, and this is one experience I don’t want to forget. Because loneliness still crops and threatens to gnaw on me like the way the cow chews the cud over and over in a dazed stare as its eyes fall half-asleep or like the way floppy-eared rabbits nibble their noses at nothing. I don’t want to feel alone when I’m surrounded by the whole farm making a rooster of a ruckus at every turn. I want to experience fair food and friendship with fresh hay and run as fast as those piggies in the race trying to find a treat. Basically: I think you’re all swell.