Poetry Corner: The Gauchos

by Jim Farfaglia

The Gauchos

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:

Windy

Lawrence of Arabia

Oye Como Va

and their crowd pleaser

Blueberry Hill

 

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.

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