Poem: 4th of July in Ashland, Oregon

C’mon everybody,
don’t delay.
We want to claim our spot
on the parade route
before the excitement 
explodes like fireworks.

Heads tilt
as the low-flying jets zoom overhead.
Heads swivel
as friends, neighbors and local celebrities
pass by, and all this
before the parade even begins.

I laugh to hear my friend mutter
   “only in Ashland”
as the parade flows by with
grass-skirted hula dancers, followed by
kilt-wearing bag pipers, followed by
the Jewish temple Klezmer band, followed by
Jesus carrying his large wooden cross.

The young ones 
are wide-eyed for
unicycles and stilt-walkers,
ever-alert to leap
for incoming candy.

We admire classic old cars and wild art cars,
we cheer young gymnasts
back-flipping their way down Main Street,
we clap along with the enthusiastic,
tie-dye clad Ashland Middle School band.

After the parade,
we gather as a community in Lithia Park
to hear the entire
Declaration of Independence,
to remember
why we celebrate this day.

Author: Peter Finkle

My name is Peter Finkle. I moved to Ashland in 1991. My email is walkashland-at-ashlandhome.net. I am a Husband, Father, Poet, Writer and Herbal Health Researcher.

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