The Chrome and Steel Parade of US
By Peter Menkin

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The Chrome and Steel Parade of US
By Peter Menkin (2000)

The parade of town & county people
and painted cars with chrome
tailpipes was a glee on old Grant
street--miles long parade.

A testimony to American
history, 55 Chevy Station Wagon
with red back lights
like a jet plane nose.
Sculpted Shelby Cobra,
a coveted car from Hollywood
amidst the rolling thunder
patrolled by local police
in their late model fast pursuit
vehicles, complete with air scoops.

The girls sit close to the guys
on the bench seats, though
a Ford Mustang (worth $20,000)
has buckets--edge thigh to thigh,
hers against the stick shift.
A tuneful race of piston sounds,
clouds of dark exhaust after
sunset to crowds who stand, sit,
call out and gawk at industrial

promises and the freedom that
auto brings. Sex, steel, paint
is a hot combination on a June
evening, for county excitement.
Mating calls to drag and thump,
teenage postures, and adult
moments with some families attuned
to their social position in a
maroon 48 Plymouth coupe. What
now, a festive undertaking
like a community dance in thunder
and success. Glory, excitement!

Summertime summertime stars a
song of parade in car colors
brought out for show and bravado.
A cultural dance on wheels into
the night, and tomorrow, too
on the regular roads and driveways.

This is an endless parade
of favored and polished pets;
even the Chevrolet 409,
will ride around seeking
a Woody Wagon or something sleek.
We have met the 21st Century
and it is still us, again, on parade.