Sunday, May 27, 2018


norwegian day parade

all of the white men
are wearing sports t-shirts
and hats emblazoned with the american flag

they are making america great again
by loitering on street corners
with beer breath before noon

the women have visors
with rainbow-colored see-through vinyl
they talk about the men in sport shirts
drinking beer on the lord’s day

the streets are lined with people
waving norwegian flags

ruddy faced kids who’ve never seen california
let alone the northern lights in winter
cheer in plastic viking hats

as long black limos push waving white girls
and geriatric g.i. joes
down sun-soaked streets of majesty
behind wooden viking ships on wheels

they are celebrating culture

pasty pale-faced culture
the right kind of culture here in brooklyn

eating food with no discernable tastes
pasty pale-face food

the kind of culture that doesn’t get complicated
that can assimilate in just a generation

culture that won’t get you stopped on the streets
by cops down here

cops who waved at cars passing by
cops who know their neighbors

cops who do not carry ak-47s and wear camouflage
like they do in other parts of the city
where parades get flagged as possible terrorist activity

where gyrating and dancing are seen as a threat

and all of the white men cheer
when the white girls wave

their blonde hair as golden as the sun

and all of the white women wave their flags
remember back when they were young
and rode down 3rd avenue in limos

and all of the geriatric g.i. joes should be put out to pasture

as politicians sweat on podiums
holding damp paper
waiting to introduce this week’s wounded veteran

to the kids in viking hats grunting
and flexing their muscles

little kids with blond hair and blond teeth
who look like little conquerors ready to tackle history

the ones who will become soldiers
the ones who will become cops

cops who will know their neighbors
cops who will wave at cars passing by
and marvel at viking ships on wheels
and marvel at white girls waving

who will bow when the national anthem gets played
by multi-cultural kids in a marching band

kids who will become the kind of stand-up guys

who will only use their ak-47s
on the right kind of people.

--John Grochalski

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