Pageantry

Such an awkward word,
Displaying glorious sound and color,
A walk along hallowed paths.
The flag waving, Standing,
Feeling the drums,
Step lively, you, to get curb seats.
Patriotic,
I sound off and stand tall
Even when performing
Above the Arctic Circle.
Pageantry: the oldest veteran served,
A beauty queen turns on heels,
Awards given and received.
Flowing flags drape
Dark coffins
Holding sacred the souls
Of the common man, mighty warriors.
Flags spread like blankets,
Held by sailors, soldiers, marines,
All looking chin first, staring
Straight ahead. Serving.
Keys to the city handed out
Like Cotton Candy Floss.
Lords of the State bow.
I wonder at it all.

I saw Minnesota's grand birthday
150 years of statehood with marching forces
of the Guard, escorted by
Shriner's in clown cars.
Clydesdales step strongly.
Antique cars, convertibles.
Children shiny clean,
Bravely wondering at
Bareback riders, cowboys.
Wagons full of farmers.
Tractors, Combines, Gimme Caps,
The band, with brassy calling,
Marches tapping 
One hundred and twenty beats
To the minute, left foot first.
County Queens, and Grange cars.
The governor standing tall.
A distinguished servant of time.
A spectacle of dreams,
Both realized and wished,
Ceremonies of serious joyful pomp
Remembered for all time as
That Show, where we were 
And are at our best.

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