Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness


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

“Yay for Babies.”

• • •

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


6 Responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.