Adventure Story Poems by Jim Nasium
The Circus Wilson

I offer you a story poem [in three parts] all about the time I met a woman from a circus that came into a small town I was hanging out in way back in 1974, and what happened to make me want to leave town with the circus. BTW this is a true story; the circus was a smaller two ring circus that traveled through Colombia, Ecuador and North Peru called Circo Wilson, and her name was Rosa. I was lucky enough to have travled with the circus to small towns all over The Andes, some that weren't even on a map. My time with the circus was spent teaching English (learning Spanish), going on day trips, eating, relaxing, help to set up the big tent, cages, bleachers and after a few days tearing every thing down and loading, the trucks to head off to a new spot for a few days and of course having fun with Rosa..

The Circus: The Beginning
by Jim Nasium

The trucks pulled into town first
followed by the bus
every one in town was cheering
there was really quite a fuss
the children had all gathered
even the police were there
the day the circus came to town
was a rather big affair

The men unloaded the first truck
the one with all the poles
and while they were busy doing that
other men started digging holes
the poles were set and tied secure
ropes laid out on the ground
the day the circus came to town
every one hung around

the second truck pulled up real close
to where the poles had been set in the ground
the children were all laughing now
being entertained by a clown
the canvas tent was unfolded
laid out and clipped to the rope
that would pull the tent to the top of the poles
well at least that's what everyone hoped

Two hours later the tent was up
circus flags blew in the breeze
men started setting up bleachers
then a woman with a ring of keys
came over to talk to me
said "you're an American"
I said you can call me a gringo
she smiled and I made a friend

She gave me two free passes
told me she'd like me to go
gave me one for early evening
and another for the late show
I told her I would be there
that I could hardly wait
I had plans to asks her later on
if she wanted to go on a date

The circus was finally set up
it took almost all day
the children all hung around
playing games that children play
the men were called to the dinning tent
it was time for everyone to eat
I went back to my hotel to rest
I was feeling a little beat

The evening came sooner than I thought
the sun was setting in the west sky
I walked to the circus slowly
still wondering exactly why
she gave me these free tickets
they were both a front row seat
I was feeling pretty good about her
and thought the circus would be neat

The tent was full of children
adults and animals too
every one was cheering and waving arms
I didn't know what to do
made my way to my seat
a clown came over to me
he said he wanted me to follow him
there was something he wanted me to see

We walked behind the circus tent
to a trailer near the bus
he knocked on the door and said here ya go
then with out much fuss
she opened the door and invited me in
very eager to please
she looked so beautiful in her costume
made me feel weak in the knees

She told me that after the early show
she wanted to get something to eat
she was looking so good to me
long hair, tiny hands and feet
the lady had a lot of class
but then most circus people do
I'll tell you more about what we did that night
even though I promised her I wouldn't tell you

Part Two

The early show was over
she met me by the door
I could see she was very tired
knew she had to do her act once more
she said I want something light
can't work if I eat too much
then she came closer and kissed me
I got goose bumps from her touch

We went to the mess tent together
she introduced me to some clown
he told me later on tonight
some of them were going out on the town
he asked her and I to join them
he said we'll have a lot of fun
I could hardly wait at this point
until the late circus show was done

Back in the tent for the second show
I sat right up in front
I got a good view of everything
like the clowns out there doing stunts
we had some laughs and a close calls
when the trapeze guide rope broke
how nice it was to be around
good hearted simple folk

She met me by the back door
right where she said she'd be
she was right on time
first thing she did was kiss me
we walked to town hand in hand
heading to the cafe
it was late but I wasn't tired
today was my lucky day


The clowns were already sitting
at some tables they put together
I asked her how long we would stay
she said until when ever
we sat down and ordered some food
I got us a big bottle of wine
happy to be with the circus folk
happy that she would be mine

We ate, and drank, laughed and talked
our time went by so fast
before we knew it was two AM
the whole evening had passed
we headed back to her trailer
talked and held hands as we walked
I really liked the way she smiled
and laughed when we'd talk

We had so much in common
we liked a lot of the same stuff
she was really into nature
and quite the history buff
we knew we met for a reason
so what ever that reason may be
I was very happy to be with her
she was happy to be with me

Part Three

We got back to her trailer
she invited me inside
we had some really great sex
I gave it my best try
she wanted me to come back
in the morning when she was free
but now she had to get some rest
I told her I'd let her be

I put on my pants, my shoes and shirt
walked over to the door
she said she felt a little used
that she is not a whore
but there's just something about me
that made her want me so
she asked me to get back in bed
told me not to go

We made love again and again
till the morning sun lit the sky
I told her she was a special girl
she said I was a special guy
she gave me about twenty tickets
for all kinds of circus shows
she said she wanted me with her
no matter where she goes

I told her I really liked her
she was pretty, witty and smart
I don't know how she did it
but the lady got in my heart
I promised her I'd be back
after I went home to change
I needed to get cleaned up
I was feeling a little strange

I made my way back to my hotel
we didn't get much sleep
I knew she was falling in love
but wasn't ready to take the leap
I did some things to keep me busy
passing time until the early show
after all there's wasn't much going on
the circus was the only place to go

Another early performance
one more early evening meal
sitting through the late show
I thought about how I feel
she makes me very happy
she very pretty too
one hundred percent Indian
from the jungle in the north of Peru

When the show was over
she said she wasn't hungry
she wanted to go back to her trailer
spend some quiet time with me
I told her that would be ok
I had the same thing on my mind
life is very strange for me
I never know what I'll find

She asked me to leave with her
in the morning the circus would be gone
the men would have the tents packed up
and ready to leave by dawn
I told her I would go with her
she offered me free board and food
begged me to teach her English
so I said ok, not to be rude

I went back to my hotel
packed up my few things
I was feeling real good about her
she gave my heart a song to sing
went back to where the tents were
she was waiting by the truck
every one in town was there to say goodbye
and to wish us both a lot of luck

We travled for the whole day
at night pulled into a small town
the place was rarther quiet
there was no one at all around
the truck pulled in a circle
out in a flat dry field near by
men started setting up the tents again
I accepted my fate but didn't know why

Circus folk and me, the hippie in the middle
That's me in the center of the photo
the hippie with the busy hair some 30+ years ago

My time with the Circus Wilson lasted longer than I ever thought it would and for some reason I seemed to fit right in with the circus folk. The small circus traveled to many a wonderful places that most gringos would never know about or get to see because the towns were so small they weren't on any maps I have ever seen [while down there]. As I look back I guess I was the lucky one...

The Circus: Looking Back


Life with the circus Wilson
out on the open road
truck heavy from the burden
of the circus tent load
trailer's pulled with this and that
lights and animals and stuff
it may look like a lot of fun to you
but life in the circus is tuff

It was same thing over and over
only in a different place
after awhile it got so routine
I didn't even see a face
the crowd became one big mass
of people who paid to get in
it was the same thing over and over
we did it again and again

We'd pull into a small town
find a field that was just right
unload the trucks and pitch the tents
all set up and ready over night
next day we'd do that town's first show
we'd stay for another day or two
then we tear it all down again
pack it up and go some place new

We'd pull into another small town
look for another field
set the tents up again
it was really sort'a surreal
the days went by quickly
getting ready for each new show
we'd stay a couple's days
pack up and then we'd go

My job was as a teacher
each day from one to three
Rosa and other circus people
would come learn English from me
they didn't know that I was the student
they were also teaching me too
I could go on and on
about the circus and stuff we'd do

The clowns were really funny
no matter on or off the stage
they'd get the whole crowd laughing
the tent would be in a rage
the lady and her horses
the monkey and the clown
it was new for the peopel watching
but to me it was just another town

Somehow Rosa got pregnant
she was going to my son
I was young and all blown out
all I could think to do was run
I left her a pile of money
some photographs of me
I waited for the right moment
took the opportunity

I saw her some time later
I was working my way back North
I had been down in Peru
going back and forth
she said she was in love with me
wanted to go with me to the states
I told her she'd to better to stay
and to never question our fates

Life with el circo Wilson
was a real treat for me
I traveled to small towns and places
no other gringo will ever see
met people and I've done many things
got more luck than my share
of all the things I've ever done
I'll never forget my time down there

I still hear from Rosa now and then
she's married to one'a the clowns
they're still doing the same old thing
going to many little towns
she said she has 5 children now
my boy has kids of his own
I sit with a tear in my eye
tell me where has the time gone?
©2002 Jim Nasium

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