Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

parade1113

On Main Street lined with flags, the processions pass.
A family event — kids on shoulders, lawn chairs at curbs, babies in strollers.
We cheer and applaud indiscriminately.

The first contingent — a band of suburban teenagers — drag feet to the beat of a discordant Sousa military march.

The fife & drum corps summon precision and obedience — an impotent call to an audience not old enough to enlist. Yet.

The youngest corps, from the Catholic school, precedes an out-of-step pro life cortège holding infants out to the crowd: “Yay for Babies.”

In camouflaged transport, the maimed and scarred, weathered and broken, pass proud and victorious — enemies fought without question.

The inner-city high school color guard high-steps — ebulliently introducing their indoctrinated classmates, reserves already in uniform…

row after
row after
row after
row after
row after
row after
row after
row after
row after
row.

“Yay for Babies.”

• • •

©2013, Jen Payne
IMAGE: Parade, William James Glackens, 1912

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6 thoughts on “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

    1. It was a haunting moment. Everyone gathered for the festivity, and the sudden, out-of-body understanding that we were cheering for things we ought not be cheering for.

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