friday marching

police are at the lights
halting traffic
for a disheveled line of twos and threes
mostly older and oddly formal
in long coats and small hats
with occasional children
like the misplacement of a Sunday

over the road to right-angle
past the few shops
and on towards the crossing

halted by the raising
of an arm shaded official blue
there is time to gaze
amongst them
in
around
and over
old ANZACs
in too-bright teeth
tottering dowagers
in mesh-veil hats

a younger man at the head
tall and skinny
bones and beard
carries a full-length lightweight cross
with measured steps
like the flag bearer
at an olympic opening

little lies beyond
the tentative crossing of the railway
now being negotiated by the leaders
that could cause them to march
against the Park Road traffic

there is only a park and a cemetery
and the last of the meanderers
a pink-frocked girl
skipping at the tail on the arm of her gran
seems unaware of the purpose
mindful only of the direction

the police don’t care
three vans have done their job
for this Friday morning
and move off at a crawl
I can proceed with my journey
and pull up at the bakery
to purchase the hot cross buns
that are my reason this morning


© Frank Prem, 2002

One word prompt by Kristian

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