Archive for March 2nd, 2014

March 2, 2014

The Parade Thief

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons



booms and sirens

calling a sleepy town to rise

the children are already awake

everyone else doesn’t mind the alarm


the parade is today

the sun rises brighter

the wind blows lighter, warmer

because summer stops to rest


the boy moves with an excitement

his parents wish he had for school

peeking through the screen door at other kids

popping with guns and snaps and caps


he fears he’ll miss the parade

having to wait for everyone else

but rather than upset the morning plan

he paces quietly on the porch steps


watching the oblivious

a cautious squirrel ascending a tree trunk

a robin bobbing in the grass

a busy anthill on a sidewalk crack


after breakfast his father moves in the garage

his worried mother prepares her tote

bikes, sandwiches, blankets, ready

for the pilgrimage


the boy listens for the go

among early blow horns

early firecrackers

early hissing of sparklers


children, parents, grandparents

they fill the sidewalks

cars funnel down to the lakefront

no one rushes today except the children


fathers and mothers reminisce

they’ve safely been there before

staking out a good curbside view

of recycled images of youth


grandparents settle into lawn chairs

they too have been there before

many times more

having lost count of their good fortunes


as the fire engines approach

the boy imagines his future

mother and father observe their present

grandparents preserve their past


as the parade thief displays its subjects:

marching band, drill team, rotary float,

politician, veteran, sauerkraut queen,

it seduces the boy


when the ritual is complete

and the tide reverses into remembrances

in the streets along the lakefront

mothers search for lost children


while the parade thief steals the boy away

through summer

through the seasons

and beyond boyhood



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