On the morning of the Fourth,
dismal Main Street resembles its old self for a bit
as an animated presence transforms
its customarily derelict appearance.
Who doesn’t want to see the parade,
the fire trucks and wait to sample
flagrantly red hot dogs
served courtesy of the Knights of Columbus?
But the hopeless, unstoppable
march of progress in another direction
is starkly apparent.
The parade’s annual route,
briefly populated by cheerful throngs,
will proceed through a shabby corridor
of empty storefronts with tired paint,
where once a vibrant commerce had transpired.
Only a few businesses remain,
most on the lowest rungs
of commercial enterprise.
It has been years since mill workers and tradesmen,
thriving on shift work and overtime, bought boats
and bikes and snowmobiles with relative ease.
In those past glorious days they had gathered,
talking of decks and camps and better trucks
while pondering a future as bright and happy
as the holiday itself.
Phil Huffy’s interest in poetry came well into middle age, following years of legal writing and trial work as an attorney in Rochester, New York. But he had his hand in the soup even as a young dad, composing children’s songs (not particularly poems) for his own two kids and later writing music with more general themes. After leaving the law, he traveled about as a poorly compensated folk singer and senior entertainer. Only in late 2017 did he take his plunge into verse, calling upon his own experiences, a reasonable exposure to literature, and a love for language effectively used. Within a few months time, he had found over sixty placements of his work in approximately fifty print or online journals. He thinks on his feet, as trained, and writes at the kitchen table, often with a Maltese on his lap.