A marching band triumphantly plays moving down the street. Crowds of people cheer and wave American flags. There is the smell of soda, popcorn, and soft pretzels. Kids cry out in excitement and joy. Red, white, and blue floats make their way behind the band with town officials and contest winners waving blindly out, big smiles so that their cheeks hurt. There’s the colorguard with their flags, baton twirlers in their wake dressed in Olympic Gymnast Barbie (from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics) patriotic leotards. She sets a high bar they do not meet. Italian Ice melts in the summer sun, orb of burning butter that comes up every morning, betraying us on overcast days; Sets every night even though some nights are pancakes and slices of toast are left unbuttered. Loneliness of life, loneliness of the night. After awhile the crowd grows bored, but there is still so much parade left to go. The stack of signup sheets was profound, and now that town must honor their promise. Elderly folks sit in lawn chairs, relieved and glad that they have brought them. They were thick sunglasses and look simultaneously tired and amazed. One old woman has brought her camera, and she is gladly snapping pictures of the event, hoping to develop the photos and send them to her granddaughter in Tuscaloosa. State lines divide family hearts. Love sometimes is a one way street. The mayor stands up in the back of a convertible finally, signaling the end of the march. Uncle Sam with his face painted in the colors of the flag, dances a ho-down on stilts, twirling his tall top hat and scaring more than one child. What is this Frankenstein of dreams? How are they supposed to know? Glitter and confetti rain down from last minute budget cuts purchased canons it makes for a nice show, but a bitch of a cleanup. As the crowd disperses, BBQs are to be had, swimming pool time. Beers will be drunk and couples will get a little too high-strung at each other preparing for the event like the President is coming to dinner. Mass crowds walk away from the scene, some get in their cars. There are teenagers spinning on bicycles, talking over their shoulder to their following friend. The ride with one hand on the handlebars, sipping a soda, perhaps not realizing that in this glass cage, in this snowglobe that simple act and action is what’s granted here.

Author: Roe

she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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