Americana, Saturday Morning
All the lawnmowers have stopped
for the Fourth of July parade. The children
wave flags, the soldiers march down the streets,
the veterans go by on canes,
the Marine band plays,
is carried by a squadron on horseback
past the Mayor’s reviewing stand.
Everyone salutes, cheers, cries. Our children
a little longer. The grass grows
under their feet, longer and taller,
waves around their knees, goes to seed.
The drums beat. We stand in the heat,
transfixed by the sun, the drums, the flags,
the Fourth of July is hot, so hot. The flies settle
on us. The parade goes on, flags, drums, flags, drums.
The children grow up, walk past us, fall in,
place khaki hats on their uncombed hair,
salute us, are gone.
In the silence behind them, the Mayor walks home.
He stares up at the empty windows, walks into the backyard.
He places one foot on the lawnmower, pulls the starter cord
into a roar. The grass falls before him.
Previously published in The Salal Review, Longview, WA
This was written between the Gulf wars…at one point the working title was Americana:Between Wars.
Copyright ©2012 Elizabeth Evans, All Rights Reserved