The Parade

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Photo: Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

 

It was partially because they needed to find something to focus on, and the months ahead stretched barren of anything worthy of looking forward to; and partially because they believed they had some yet-to-be-discovered organizational talents and this could be a good way to shine a little spotlight on them; and partially because they knew it was the last thing Mayor Perry would expect. The latter reason alone was worth the effort. Especially when it would be something he won’t be able to admit he was against and may even end up having to endorse.

So they planned a parade.

They enlisted friends’ cars for floats and roped in small sponsorships by neighborhood stores and minor celebrities. They tempted bands and cheerleaders from local middle-schools with free exposure and offered same for the martial arts students from George’s Judo (which, not to be outdone, was followed by the dancers from Teens’ Tap and Ballroom Ballerinas). They raised money (and attention) by holding bake-sales on stoops and organizing a popup donate-your-merchandise shop on the sidewalk in front of the library. They printed flyers and pinned them to bulletin boards then convinced store owners to tape some into their display windows, by telling them every one else already had.

Peer pressure worked.

Most people didn’t ask too many questions about why a “Celebrate Ourselves” parade was necessary, where it had been born or by whom or to what end. The general theme seemed good enough, and it probably didn’t feel right to be against celebrating who one was and what they belonged to and were included in.

They ordered “CO” shirts, stickers, and visors in neon-green, complete with an abstract sketch of a float-turned-banner-turned-thumbs-up to ‘carry’ the letters as the parade’s logo. They uploaded photos of themselves handing shirts to firefighters, visors to grinning grandmothers in the park, and an assortment of the stuff to slightly bewildered parents at the playground. The stickers were a hit with the kids.

They videoed themselves delivering a shirt to the mayor’s office, then sent the video to the local news, who shared it under the title: “The Mayor Celebrates ‘Celebrating Ourselves.'” Social media amplified it.

By the following morning the mayor was accosted by a reporter on his way out of the gym. The insistent young woman shoved a microphone in Mayor Perry’s face and asked whether he’d been asked to be the Grand Marshal.

“Not yet,” he mumbled.

An hour later they were in his office, neon-green shirts on, tailed by the reporter they’d tipped ahead of time for an “exclusive follow-up scoop.”

Soon enough a statement was issued and the news headlined: “Mayor Perry to Lead CO Parade.”

Sponsorships streamed on: The gym the Mayor belonged to. The bank. The local hospital. The Aerobatics Club.

Requests came in for satellite parades in nearby towns.

The national news picked the story. Talking heads nodded and argued the pros and cons.

Mayor Perry marched, neon-green shirt and forced smile on.

 

By the following year they ran for office, with the CO logo strategically in the background.

Celebrating themselves was fun.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS and JusJoJun writing prompt

 

 

His Complex

N.juncifolius CarlosClusius250 1576

N. juncifolius, Carolus Clusius Rariorum stirpium 1576

 

He has a bit of complex,

Or lots more than

A bit.

A tremendous,

Big

Complex.

One that logic

He won’t allow

Beat.

Some believe

It’s destructively

Unique,

But in truth

It is just

Textbook

Case

Of the morbidly

Unfit.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Complex in 41 words

 

 

In The Years

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Photo: Ian Schneider on Unsplash

 

In the years full of sorrows

They held on to the

Joys,

From the years when the

Smiles were more frequent than

Oys.

 

In the years where

Frustration

Overtook hope or

Peace,

They held on to conviction

That life can evil

Resist.

 

In the years where the wrong

Bloomed in hate

Unconcealed,

They held on to the truth,

So harm may be

Revealed.

 

In the years where they saw

Order crumble,

 Laws evade,

They held on and remembered:

Hope finds way,

Light’s ahead.

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: year

 

 

In His Arrogance

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Photo: Phil Botha on Unsplash

 

In his arrogance he sees

Himself reflected

In everything.

All positive is commandeered as his

Achievement,

Any negative is protested as

Insult to

Him,

To the supposedly undisputed

Glory

Of his being.

 

In his hubris he

Expects only effusive

Praise.

He demands fealty in all

Things.

Admiration to any idea he

Hijacks

To claim it was never invented

Prior to the mighty of

Him.

 

In his presumption he feeds on

Adoration

And punishes

All critic

As wounding the belief in

Him.

 

In his arrogance

He sees only,

Appreciates only,

Allows only what feeds

Him.

 

 

Disclaimer: No offense meant to the (truly magnificent) bird …

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Hubris in 94 words

 

 

Slippery Slope

Not penguins InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

 

Down the slippery slope

Of icy past

And current treachery

They go,

Balancing precariously

On the edge of

What to do

With what they know.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Slope

 

 

How Will I Know?

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

 

How will I know

The taste of freedom

If I am locked

Inside a cage?

How will I find

A true horizon

When I am of

Tender age?

Where will my parents be

Tomorrow?

Will army men

Lock them away?

How will I know

If I will get to see them

Once again

One day?

 

 

For Sam’s Poetry Challenge

 

Park Pretty

May NYC1 NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

“Pink tree!” she delighted

Toddled quickly, pulled my hand

“Park pretty!” she exclaimed

“Come fast! Come fast!”

“Take picture?” she requested

And of course, I obliged.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge

 

Mallet Mind

mallet judge

Photo: Pinterest

 

As the gavel rises

To speak justice

Let the rule of law

Preside,

So not even an executive

Who feels they own

The rights for pride,

Can by claims of faux and fury

Dismiss

What they would rather hide,

When truth well knows

By sheer behavior

Schemes and snide,

That he had far too often

Lied

And it is past time he be

Tried.

 

 

For The Daily Post

In The Vivid Light I See

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Photo: Kristin Manson

And in the vivid light

I see

People divided

Anger, glee.

As in the storms of

Right or wrong

The spaces in between

Are shorn.

Confusion swirls

Known facts to eddies.

Certitude dyes

Friends into enemies.

I see the children’s eyes

Bewildered

As lessons taught to them

Turn riddles:

“Be kind” but watch the adults bully.

“Be calm” but let grown-ups live cruelly.

“Be patient” yet role models tantrum.

“Don’t fight” as those who said

Not to

Attack, throw barbs, play foul

Speak awful.

Their little foreheads crease

With frowns

Which do they follow:

Said, or done?

And

In their vivid light

Do see

The path glows clear

A road to be.

Past time to wash away

The livid rage

Recall the lessons

Of their age:

Hold space to listen

Pace to learn

Revisit patience

Drop hate

Stop spurn.

 

 

For The Daily Post