It’s a procession, a parade if you like,
recurring in the night down Main Street,
a little dream, a little dread,
chunks of building cracking away
and crashing down where the crowds
would gather if the sun was up warming.
If they knew there was a parade to go watch.
Every float bares a porch scene,
rockers and swings, hanging baskets
full of third-generation flowers,
toes and heels tapping to music picked
on instruments fashioned up the coal road
by someone’s great uncle or grandfather.
A procession of dying things:
late evening sip of bourbon dried up
from the glass, the day’s heat
gone, leaving pools of humidity
up in the rafters, ready to bead
by sun-up along the lilt of cobwebs,
no steps of neighbors coming to call,
no traffic passes all the pulling mules
dragging the floats one way: out of town.
The fear is gone. Fear evaporates
the instant before death.
What is most dead is sometimes
what carries us, where we wave from
when something familiar passes.