Parade Day

Loneliness……. how could somebody be lonely?

It seemed people were always around,

All the noise, the screaming, the fighting, the crying,

When there was silence, it was almost as bad,

The silence and tension were just the calm before the storm,

And the storm……. always came.


You could never predict it,

But you knew it would come…. when my father was home,

He always seemed to bring the clouds,

You could feel the deadly electricity in the air,

And then a rumble,

And lightning would strike!


It rarely struck me,

But when it struck any of us,

We all ran for cover,

It would be relentless until you trembled in fear,

And when it passed…… there would be a fleeting happiness,

I learned quickly to avoid overcast days…… and overcast people,

Even if they did not strike with lightning,

It seemed they liked to rain on the parade,

So I learned to enjoy the festivities from a perch above,

A safe distance away,

From the inevitable rain…….. they would always bring.


Then one day… came the most beautiful parade,

Led by a freckled woman with blue eyes and a golden mane,

She coaxed me from my perch in the most gentle of ways,

She sat with me on the curbside,

And it was the most beautiful array,

The colors, the smells, the sounds, the laughter,

The band, the horses, the old fire truck,

My face covered in cotton candy,

My shirt stained by triple-dipped cone,

And the biggest surprise,

The parade came…… everyday!


I could barely sleep each night,

Knowing in the morning of each new day,

The whistle would ring,

And the parade would come marching my way.


Now the clouds have come,

The banners are frayed,

And the band doesn’t play,

It seems a million days,

Since the parade came this way,

The streets are abandoned,

And the stores boarded up,

The fire truck sits rusted,

And my eyes are welling up.


It seems it’s been overcast,

For quite a long time,

But I can still hear the music….. if I close my eyes,

I can hear a whisper of my heart….. still trying to keep time,

I can still see her leading our marching band,

She was the biggest part……….. of our family plan.


Thunder is clapping,

And the lightning begins to strike,

I will not be afraid,

I will not live in fear,

I will not lose the vision,

Of the things………. I can still hear.


I will be back tomorrow,

And sit on my curb,

This little boy will not be frightened,

He will not be deterred.


It will just be a moment before they fire that old engine up,

The bands will begin marching,

And the candy and ice cream…….. will not be enough,

Once again my eyes will grow big and wondrous and wide,

I will laugh and giggle,

And she will be by my side.

Anthony Torino

Bravo748 Speaker