By L. N. Holmes
Too hot for a jacket, take that off.
Pull up in the mud pit. Watch that
kid. Park the car. Get out. Let’s go.
Walk in the squelching mud,
Giggling babies in stuck strollers —
Moms patiently push out of ruts,
Where’s the dad? She can do it herself.
The orchard crawls with festival goers,
Like bees buzzing around apple blossoms.
Banjo, washboard, warbling old man —
Music that makes you want to run.
Read the labels on the glass jars —
Corn cob jelly, strawberry rhubarb preserve,
Mint jelly, chocolate creamed honey,
Apple butter, spiced peaches. Excuse you.
Kettle corn pops and cracks in the heat.
Buy a bag. No, a small one. Open it. Taste it.
A mix of sugar and salt, a smile and a smack.
Sharp in the mouth, dig it out of the teeth.
Down the road, in the city. Made it in time.
The parade begins. School bands and old men.
A line of corvettes, all years. There’s a T-bird.
Look at that Oldsmobile. A giant apple balloon.
A girl in a tutu with light blue hair offers a flyer.
Thank you. The flyer is for a haunted house.
No thanks. Not now, after the kingdom comes.
Don’t tell her this. She’s already gone.
Political ads, political agendas. The parade is done.
Need some water. Yeah, me too. Guzzle a bottle.
Recycle that. Start to head back. The sun’s too hot.
© L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)