The Fourth of July Parade
We swing our pick-up truck into the library lot,
and settle in the truck bed, kingpins on folding chairs.
There’s a husky in a red-and-white bandana
and a bloodhound with a Statue of Liberty crown.
Sweating, paunchy men wear goofy hats.
Aging women in sparkles guard igloo coolers.
I want a kazoo band.
Parades are not free-form. There’s rules.
Don’t throw candy at children;
it lures them into the street.
Clean up behind horses.
Pony up a five-dollar donation to enter.
A private plane buzzes Laneda Avenue.
Boy Scouts show the colors. Some veterans walk.
The float for veterans has four empty seats.
A Patriot Guardsman roars his Harley.
Manzanita’s Citizens of the Year
precede the Mayor.
Fire & Rescue tows a trailer
of jet skis and boogie boards.
Big Wigs. Jabez Cleveland, my ancestor, a fifer,
died in the American Revolution.
What did Lao Tzu mean,
“Rule a big country the way you cook a small fish”?
The marching band plays
Yankee Doodle Dandy.
And riding in on a pony
is the Tillamook Rodeo Queen.
Then Juliette, Miss Fourth of July.
Clean up behind her bay mare.
Grass is for Animals – the Elks drug awareness truck sign.
Living Local and the Tillamook County Jersey Princess.
Imagine No Malaria on a lone walker.
I vote for the eight maids
a-pushing book carts from the Tillamook Library.
Eight men with sunglasses and black suits
patrol beside a black convertible carrying a man
wearing an Obama mask.
My first glance? Morticians.
Three Chinese dragons.
A drill team twirls dragon boat oars.
The only Chinese restaurant here went broke years ago.
A man on a tall unicycle.
A gaggle of girls carrying white umbrellas trailing
white streamers. .
A simple costume. Moon jellies.
A young girl in a motorized wheelchair
with her panting yellow lab companion.
She made my parade.
People who clean the street follow
those who came before.
Lao Tzu: “Good walkers leave no tracks.”
Around the all-one earth clouds scud.
Here, isolated patches of cumulus cold-float
over interconnected seas visible from the moon.
For free: sunburn.