Navy Pier Carousel—Chicago, Illinois

ChildhoodThese horses are skittish
perched on a dock
on the edge of Lake Michigan:
one could easily fall in.

The Golden Age has come
and roared;
nary a customer
climbs aboard.

Still, they wait as if asleep,
three rings
of common creatures,
and one green dragon
pulled from the deep.

“Only some leap,
just so you know—”
explains the ticket lady,
“—the middle row.”

The wheel sings
and then slows.
The paint is cool on
the insides of your knees.
No laughter—
only a lakeshore breeze.

About the Navy Pier Carousel:
The 44-foot carousel was designed exclusively for Navy Pier to recreate its golden age. During the 1920s a similar attraction delighted another generation of visitors. The ride’s 36 hand-painted animals represent the different styles found throughout the history of carousels. Horses, chariots and a playful frog are just a few of the featured characters. The hand-painted rounding boards at the top of the carousel depict scenes of Navy Pier’s history. Read more about the Navy Pier carousel.

Photo credit: “Childhood” by Dana Voss is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Unchanged from original.