Parade

After being pulled he snapped right back.
We lined up and marched,
Marched so straight our feet hurt.
And stood, and gazed.
Three-foot boy with a fake moustache come running, come running down the line,
Past that man selling hot dogs on a stick,
The man who charges extra for napkins.
Painted faces throw wax-wrapped toffee, throw so hard their shoulders hurt.
Scrambling on the ground you get a look at those slippery flowers
The art, from a distance, of some dreary man-made dream.
Air-filled circles stream forward and then up, swim high until they disappear from popping.

We who stood there watching
For some moments held our hearts out
Imagined it, her:
Gliding without wheels atop those cakes, those swans, that giant plastic squirrel
She is that one waving,
That one on the loudspeaker,
Those three dancing can-can girls, all those practiced moves.

On the walk home we went out of step
Cleared candy from our teeth
Dislodging sticky bits of a forgotten parade
Checked for evidence of pickpockets.