Do you remember the endless parades
Passing like themed dreams, “The Seven Wonders
Of the Ancient World”, each float
A decorated hallucination from which
Tokens sprung from the outstretched hands
Of masked men upon them, flashes
Of gold that resolved into coins
Spinning down to the torch-lit asphalt
Where you’d scramble to scoop them up
As if they were the currency of the gods?
But you knew it was only a brief spell
That held everyone until the bell of penitence
Summoned the solemn finger of faith
To smear ash on their unveiled foreheads.
Even the mossy trees seemed to bow
And pray, and the engraved disks
You’d coveted gave up their value,
Becoming just worthless souvenirs,
Vague memories of a drunkard’s dance
That he himself could barely recall.
Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally
and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.