Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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The Parade

On the occasion
   of his nomination

an eight hour
   parade of

citizens marched
   past his house

and there is
   a photograph

of him standing
   on his front steps

towering over all
   in a white suit

with Mary
   in the far left

lower window
   looking bored

as ladies in wagons
   with blossoms

in their hair and
   fifty postmen

   in their spiffy

blue uniforms
   marched along-

side trappers
   and farmers

soldiers, whores
   and the boom

of a tuba played for
   a hundred drunks

singing a hundred
   different melodies,

donkeys, spotted
   calves, dogs walking

on their hind legs
   balanced on red

striped balls,
   and everyone

passed by his door
   it seemed so that

he understood
   America was

stranger larger
   than even his

wildest guess
   which already

included multitudes
   almost infinite

as leaves of grass
   on the prairie

all of them waving
   ready to be counted

and 1000 was
   a boy carrying

a rooster under
   each arm and

five thousand
   was a man

six foot nine
   with a hammer

in his left hand

the Carpenter’s
   Guild in New York

cakewalking as if
   to the pearly gates

and finally
   beyond ten

thousand came
   a horse wearing

a rig of wire
   and feathers

like a forlorn
   Pegasus walking

slowly as if
   exhausted, beaten

down by the day
   and the nominee

walked into the
   street and guided

the poor creature
   the rest of the way

through the city
   talking quietly of

myth and the myriad
   varieties of hay.    

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