The Call to Clown by Andrew Yoder

No one chooses to be a clown.

This is not to say you do not

enroll in a clown school

and register to clown.

You are not drafted or kidnapped

with tape-gag and black-bag

into a car what seems too small

to hold so many clowns.

Nor that you, as kidnappee, will

find hood removed amid

circus act, an unvolunteer

for the human cannonball pact.

No. When I say no one

chooses to be a clown

there is, importantly

one choice for you to make.

          You may be in the midday slump

          of office busywork

          questioning the fifth cup

          of coffee and whether

          your coworkers note how

          frequent your trips to the washroom.

          You may be in the evening slump

          of homebound traffic jams

          remembering your car

          is, in fact, visible

          to the drivers who

          saw you pick that snot from your nose.

          You may be in the morning slump

          of bustling restaurants

          wondering if waitstaff

          forgot your bill—and you

          along with it. You check

          the time. Almost two hours now.

In one such small embarrassment

new thoughts will arrive dark and strange:

"Perhaps I should go to clown school."

"Clown school may be a home at last."

That these thoughts occur at all means

you are already on the path.

"Perhaps I am a clown."

And you already are.

This is what I mean when I say

no one chooses to be a clown.

You discover a clown is what you are

and the choice is what you will do.

Andrew Yoder is a designer from rural Oregon working in Canada to make video games (as one does).