by Jim Farfaglia
Memorial Day Weekend, 1968.
A 9 year old boy leans against his bicycle,
waiting in anticipation,
just across the street
from the Nestles parking lot.
He watches them prepare for the parade:
tuning their horns,
strapping on their drums,
shining their wooden rifles,
then follows them through their whole route:
first to the cemetery,
where their Taps echoes through gravesites,
then to the Sealright Parking lot,
over to City Hall
and on across the Broadway Bridge.
He listens to tune after tune:
Lawrence of Arabia
Oye Como Va
and their crowd pleaser
which brings them to the War Memorial,
where all of them stand tall
in black bell-bottomed pants,
white shirt and gloves, red cummerbund
and atop each head, a sombrero.
And the boy imagines himself
someday wearing that uniform,
of someday belonging to that family:
The Ambassadors For Our City.
The Pride of Fulton, New York.