The gamepuzzles booth at Three Rivers Arts Festival 2015 before the rain
Photo by Meshele Merchant


In the city of Pittsburgh, by the three rivers fair,
One of the year's finest art shows is set up with care.

We have fans there galore and we love to be in it,
Though load-in and load-out take more than a minute.

Long hours and much hauling, and always for sure
The weather is iffy, fierce winds to endure.

But the crowds are so friendly, they love all our stuff,
So Pittsburgh is worth it, no matter how rough.

This year was extreme—when it was time to pack up,
The weather gave pause, and we had to back up.

A storm system hit, of phenomenal size,
Deluging poor Pittsburgh and befogging our eyes.

With lightning and thunder, floodgates opened wide,
Down came the downpour, nowhere to hide.

Kate and Meshele, like two damsels distressed,
Braced for the challenge. We'd just do our best.

We packed up the boxes, trying to keep our stuff dry,
Getting out of the tent, though, we wouldn't even try.

When a few minutes let up, with the cart then we ran
To pile all we could safely into the van.

Many long runs, out to the van by the curb
The next dozen hours our peace would disturb.

Our local friends, Julie and Isaac, her son,
Had come out to help, though not much could be done.

They kept us amused with much humor and topics
Of politics, recipes, war, economics.

By 4:00 in the morn we'd done all we could hustle,
So we sent the two home with much thanks and a puzzle.

Through the dark hours we sat, damp and napping a spell,
And with each lull a few more things stashed as well.

By morning the vertical river relented
And at last we dismantled, unboothed and untented.

At 9:00, with the thirteen drenched hours behind us,
Back on the interstate at last you could find us.

A much-needed nap in our hostess' warm room
Restored us enough back to Maryland to zoom.

Such ordeals burn out helpers, at least for a while.
Meshele's off the road, till this tale makes her smile.

Kate Jones
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 14, 2015

Musical version by A. Nonny Mouse

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