He Loved a Parade

A patriotism
I did not inherit. Along Asbury
Park’s Main Street
heading toward the shore—the last one

we watched together. Tears
came to his eyes when bagpipers marched
past in their wool kilts. Their drone
pipes in near perfect harmony. Fireworks

have frightened me since dodging
M-80s in the Paris metro
on Bastille Day,
then in the New York subway

every 4th of July
for years. I could never keep step

with a group. Always got the incurable urge
to cross the street

in the midst of it all
against the flow. But now
that he’ll watch no more
parades, a single bagpipe

opening wide those first notes
to “Amazing Grace”
is a freeze
tag tap I cannot ignore.

Some Sunken Urban Parks

don’t deserve to be
preserved. Sometimes
a smile is too

precious, a phrase too
slippery, a mirror
too polished, room

too clean, dog
too calm, child too
still, a bird
too blue. I might be

the street that got too
wide. But no tree
could ever be
too tall.

Who’s Really Got Bette Davis Eyes?

Today slate,
tomorrow lapis
lazuli, tonight
a batting between.
She’ll never see
the world through the eyes
of stars. A blue moon
would be her waltz
to summer night
swoons. And that’s new
wave enough.