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Monday, February 12, 2018


by Linda Ferguson

as spontaneous as kissing,
one that opens like skies and camellias in January,
one that’s snug as the petals of artichoke buds,
one as knock-kneed as newly born calves in the spring.

I love a parade that knows the way, like elephants returning to a stream,
or a parade without purpose, one that drifts along, trailing its fingers in a summer lake,
or one that’s as wistful as the hound with its nose pressed
against the rough grain of gray fence planks.

Let’s have a parade that gleams like the keys that open the hidden doors,
or like the intrepid turtles that continue to carry small polished maps of the world –
a parade that smells of peaches and petrichor and pine –
a parade that surprises, like the sight of your name, handwritten in ink,
on a cream envelope.

Let’s have a barefoot, makeshift parade made of pinecones and popsicle sticks and twine –
a red-wagon parade, with wheels that squeak and trumpets that strain and ponies that canter
along crooked brick streets.

Give us a piggy-back, leapfrog, hopscotch parade –
a parade of acorns and feathers and beads,
a parade of thick knitted socks and worn wooden clogs,
a parade with spider web streamers and twig batons
covered in clumps of fresh emerald moss.

Let’s have a parade of flags stitched with verbs
like gentle and shimmy and billow and mist
or humble signs printed with pudding and pillow
and button and bone and apple and toe—

Let’s see a parade of dazed passengers stepping off a plane
into a long embrace,
a parade of soldiers lifting their palms,
a parade of perpetrators asking forgiveness,
a parade of jurors confessing, I, too, have sinned,  
a parade of ancestors promising, it will be alright.

Come, let our parade know the beams of a blue supermoon,
let our parade know the loneliness of being lost at sea—
let our parade be the one that remembers
how footprints tremble when they touch
foreign soil.

Linda Ferguson is an award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and essays. Her poetry chapbook was published by Dancing Girl Press. She has a passion for teaching creative writing classes that inspire and support students of all ages.