Memorial Day

We could hear the parade three blocks before
it arrived at our corner, a Sousa march
that sounded like distance, distance, distance,
with an occasional boom wadded up in a ball
of steel wool, and then we’d see two soldiers
coming, marching in step, holding a white
gold-bordered banner high, like the inside
of a lid to a box of cigars, with something
scrolly printed on it. Behind them came
the trombones and tubas, bobbing in waves
like light on choppy water, then more parade,
some of it stomping on naked legs in boots
with flippy tassels. But for me it is always
the vets of the Spanish-American War

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