Clown wearing full makeup, a curly wig, and peace sign glasses playing a dusty violin

Maura Way


Sunlight sealed behind
cirrus behemoths, I am
deep in left field. Suited
up in stripes, I wait for
something to come my
way. One cloud becomes
a prickly pear. I’m grateful
for my hat. Leafless trees
are as cold and unforgiving
as bagged sandwiches. In
the Galapagos and Manhattan
there can’t be enough space
for this kind of game. I pray
for hail, any early victory.


I’ve seen clowns from
both sides now. I’ve gone

far too long for a touch up.
Make up! There is snow

down south and my roots
are showing. Lipstick marks

on the teeth are a sign of a
nervous breakdown, they

tell the young girls about
divorcees, in pantomime

and mummed tones. Screw
ball purification at once!

Lay it on thick. Busk them
blooming muses hither and

yon. Be a dear and pour
me a drink. Grace comes

in the morning; remarries in
Connecticut. What a hoot.

Headshot of Maura WayMaura Way is the author of Another Bungalow (Press 53).Her poems have also appeared in numerous journals and magazines including The Chattahoochee Review, DIAGRAM, Verse, Drunken Boat, Beloit Poetry Journal, and The Potomac. Originally from Washington, D.C, Maura is a schoolteacher in Greensboro, North Carolina. You can also find her at and @anotherbungalow.

Image credit: Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #20.

Cleaver Magazine