The Parade

A scream broke the night
The hunt was on
Philosophers and hitmen
On horseback
Maria stood by
Seasoned by the years
The elders whispered to themselves

The agent smelled smoke
The moment was near
I sipped coffee, staring out the window
At the scene
"Definitely Primitive"
Said the waiter
My guide looked at him knowingly
Glancing at the wall clock

Maria was prepared for the ceremony
Her salt and peppered hair pulled from her face
As her feet were bound
All was ready, the kindling flamed
I bit back laughter,
Knowing it was sacrilege
But no matter my many times I smell it,
It reminds me of 4th of July picnics

--Mike Eshelman

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