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Parade on the Water (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Have you ever seen a whole line of boats all lit up and moving in a parade to entertain crowds of people? It’s quite a spectacle. The below poem was inspired by just such an event, which I attended with a dear friend of mine and her family about two years ago. Hope you enjoy it!]

I used to believe parades

  always flowed along pathways

  composed of solid ground

       from dirt to hard stone

       with floats that bobbed

       over their audiences

             as giant balloons

             or massive floats

                    on wheels

But two evenings ago

  I got introduced to a Parade of Lights—

    where boats that came in various shapes

       and sizes coasted along a circular route

         within a harbor fringed by the spectators

Each vessel came lit up with their own display

            from

          strings

             of

          bright

           lights

   TO GIANT INFLATABLE SANTAS AND SNOW PEOPLE

                which shone into the darkness

                   and gleamed upon the water

                      attended        every once in a while

                         by the proclamations of curious seals

                            who splashed about the procession

Holiday tunes echoed through the air

     from old carols to Grinchy delights

         while the shadowy sailors

            cried out their best wishes

                for a wondrous Christmas season

I sat upon rocks

    surrounded by my friend and her family

       and friends of that family

         with whom I made friends as well

             on that enchanted night

                 where the way I saw parades changed

                    and I felt a New Year approach

                       with nothing other than excitement

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