Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Fleda Brown Removes “the parade” From Her Poem — C B Follett

no fife, no drumbs, no merry piccolo, no crepe paper wound thru bike wheels, no anal drum majorettes, no lemonade in a silvery thermos with flaky green torso, no glittering trombones, no yappy dogs, no nasty smelling snake bombs, no pinwheels of spinning stars, no cap pistols with the delicious scent of cordite, no lady fingers spluttering and dancing like a kite’s tail, no little boys running their sticks along the newly whitewashed fences, no whistles to strut the band maneuvers, no horses, no steaming bum trinkets, no pom pom girls to march bravely thru the bum trinkets (still steaming), no crowds to groan, and no industrious little man with broom ad bucket, no Model T with the mayor stuffed into a rumble seat, no mayor’s wife with huge and festooned bonnet, no rickety floats sponsored by Jack’s Hardware or Gus’ Gas and Repair, no boys on elm branches hanging over the marchers, no boys lobbing horse chestnuts down into the open throats of the tubas, no American flags jammed in a beit cup, flapping gloriously in the breeze, no tired arms on the boy scout carrying the flag, no cub scout scratching his crotch to the horror of his mother, no fringe, no sparkle, no silver batons twirling into the morning sun, no tails braided with ribbons, no pigtails braided with ribbons, no oiled saddles, no straw boaters, no grandmothers tittering, no mothers proudly pointing, no chairs on the sidewalk, no kids sitting on the curb, no cotton candy, no whizzers shooting sparks, no fathers snapping salutes, no tin cans tied to the backs of little brothers’ tricycles, no dogs with bonnets, no vets with scrawny necks and loose uniforms, no red poppies, no proud hauling of tired bodies into a salute, no unchecked tear, no corn dogs on a stick, no cats hiding from the noise, no 4-H calf, no sashes with badges, no cymbals, no crisp turns from Grove onto Forest, no playing cards snapping on spokes, no tiny princesses holding the train of the teenage Queen, no Mad Eddie slipping into line with his prodigious proportions and his dancing frock with frills and deep decolletage, and no sound of the final band growing fainter and fainter down Main Street, as boys and bicycles fall in behind showing off their wheelies and ragged formations.

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