Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

My Parade

My Parade

I remember
that Thanksgiving day winter-white dress,
so short with its fur edging and ties
with fur balls at the ends.
I twirled them in tandem,
waiting to watch the parade pass by
from our apartment window.
I remember
my father’s conflicted face
as he laughed at my finery
while my mother lay still and silent in a darkened room,
waiting for the pain to pass along
with the procession moving ever closer,
so incongruous,
from our apartment window.
I remember my impatience,
my long gone mother’s hand
on my hair as she tugged the brush
through and placed a single barrette there.
I blew short breaths over my hands
to dry my nail polish as I waited for
the slowly moving Underdog balloon
to gently fill the air outside
our apartment window.
I remember now
they asked me why
I stood by the window
when I could
view the spectacle quite well
on our living room TV.
After all,
didn’t I know
we lived in Queens, not Manhattan,
so there was no chance I would see
the parade from there.
I remember well that first taste
of disappointment,
that aching regret that
imperfections existed everywhere.
Even while we gave thanks and ate a special meal,
even in my winter-white fur-trimmed dress,
my mother lay ill and Underdog was absent
from the atmosphere.
Outside our apartment window,
after dinner in the cooling autumn air,
even though I harbored hope for a miracle,
only emptiness was waiting for me there.
Shelley KahnShelley Kahn is employed in federal service as a civil rights attorney. She lives most of the time in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., but her heart is pulled in the direction of the Delaware coast. One of her many passions in life has been to write poetry about everything she has observed in nature, in people and animals, and in her public life. She is currently a member of the Rehoboth Beach Writer’s Guild.
*The above photo is not the property of Melancholy Hyperbole. Ownership cannot be traced; the photograph appears in multiple blogs.

Categories: Poetry

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3 replies

  1. Beautiful poem, so bitter-sweet with longing.

  2. Shelley, that is a beautiful poem. I could visualize you as a little girl, the apartment, and your mother with the hair brush. I can almost see the missing miracle. Congratulations on your publication! Love,Tuwenia

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