Three Day Weekends

You’ll never guess
what separates this thorn tree
from the rest, but I am telling you
that I do, so don’t listen.
There’s a simple concrete staircase
by it out there in the city park
where dogs bark at all the skaters
trying to conquer it.
They lick papers there rolling
their own cigarettes
while the walking moms
all scowl at them
and cover up their stroller child’s eyes.
This way they never see them land
a single trick, however sick,
they just hear plastic wheels scrape
loud against the sidewalk.
Family values aren’t always family friendly
because what it honors sometimes contradicts
the promise.
Still the parades are always packed
with every single act that’s running
in the background of this stupid town
we’re stuck in like a fly strip hanging
loosely from the ceiling.
The final float is reeling from the cheering
of the patriotic people seeing old men
in their uniforms that haven’t fit right
since they got them in their twenties.
This is how we like them all together
in their silence with the violence
inside always tucked away.
Without a space for them to ever
say the things they saw
when answering their orders.
A single homeless man takes to the street
once everything has passed
and breaks a glass over his head
to only pass out in the shards
now at our feet.

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