Reflections on Going to the Super Bowl Parade for the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Jennifer Angelina Petro

philly parade 2018

Reflections on Going to the Super Bowl Parade for the Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday, February 8, 2018

by

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

I picked up sons Ben and Daniel at 4:30 AM.  After stopping at Wawa (because everyone should stop at Wawa on the way to anything–especially on their way to a Super Bowl Parade) and headed downtown.  It took us an hour to both drive and eventually find a parking space.  It was another 15-minute walk to where we set up camp for the next eight hours, near where the parade was going to end—the Art Museum steps.

The sun had yet to rise, and people were filing in the slowly-lifting darkness from Broad Street down to the Art Museum, like a jubilant river.  It was 6 AM and people were already shouting Eagles chants, fight songs, and Brady-Sucks, and yes, people were already drinking.

As the crowd grew hour by hour, the people grew kinder and happier.  People were dancing, singing, oh, yes, and drinking—and they were also happy, high-fiving, laughing.  And as the sun rose and illuminated the Art Museum, the sea of people swelled with anticipation.

People played catch with footballs that seemed to be soaring around the crowd from out of nowhere. People introduced themselves to those standing around them.  People exchanged stories of how long they waited for this day and what it all means.  Strangers hugged and offered each other blankets, handwarmers, and beer.

And the green.  Nearly every person there—of all shapes, sizes, ages, race, gender-identity, and expression was bedecked in Eagles green.  Looking out across the ever-burgeoning crowd, it turned into a luminous green sea that ebbed and flowed and raised its waves to heaven.

Yes, there were the knuckleheads.  One idiot climbed a tree, urinated (very poorly aimed) into a water bottle, spraying the people below with urine, and then, threw the full bottle down among the people.  If the police hadn’t been there I think he would have been beaten to a pulp.  The people below were justifiably (pardon the pun) pissed.

One nearly-naked guy with green hair smashed two beer cans together in front of his face and roared as he sprayed the crowd with Budweiser.  The surrounding people weren’t happy, but not as unhappy as those who were where the shit-brain peed on them.

Then there was the guy so stoned he came tumbling through the crowd like a wobbly train, and, if I hadn’t had been there to grab him, he would have plowed into the two old ladies in front of us.

“Thank you,” he said with his voice slurred and his eyes rolling around in his head like marbles, and then he just kept stumbling through the crowd.

There was no violence though.  No meanness (yes, peeing off a tree was mean, but he was clearly drunk, and cracking up as he did his heinous act), no rage, no property being damage, no cars set on fire.  It was plain and simply a party.  It was a celebration of civic-pride—city pride—family pride—and, of course, pride for our team—the bunch of under-estimated players who overcame a ton of adversity to sweep unexpectedly and remarkably through the playoffs to bring home the long-awaited Super Bowl victory.  It is a team comprised of good and decent people.  It is a team together in true brotherly love.  It is a team unlike any other I have ever seen, and I was proud to be there to celebrate them and our city.  It was glorious, hilarious, bizarre, and fun—profoundly fun.  When a city comes together to dance, sing, and embrace one another—it is a truly beautiful thing—I dare-say, holy.

There is so much wrong with the world.  And, I believe there is far more right with the world.  Today was one of the right things, and I am grateful to have been there with two of my sons.  We will never forget it, and neither shall this team, this city—all the people living and dead who waited so long for this moment—who suffered through agonizing years of frustration.  This was a day of unbridled joy—a collective exhale of relief and a collective in-breath of getting ready to sing—arm-in-arm-again and again, as loudly as humanly possible— “Fly, Eagles, Fly…”

 

eagles last meme

 

 

 


 

 


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The Vigil, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

vigil photo 1

 

The Vigil

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

vigil (n.)  1200, “eve of a religious festival” (an occasion for devotional watching or observance), from Anglo-French and Old French vigile”watch, guard; eve of a holy day” (12c.), from Latin vigilia”a watch, watchfulness,” from vigil “watchful, awake, on the watch, alert,” from PIE root *weg- (2) “be lively or active, be strong” (source also of Old English wacan “to wake up, arise,” wacian “to be awake;” Old High German wahta “watch, vigil;” see wake (v.)). Meaning “watch kept on a festival eve” in English is from late 14c.; general sense of “occasion of keeping awake for some purpose” is recorded from 1711.

—From the Online Etymology Dictionary.

 

 

The Vigil

 

We were watchful, alert to every loud sound,

We were lively, active, and strong—we were awake

So fully our guard dropped and we wept in the arms of strangers;

We were watchful, full of rage, full of questions,

We were a living sea of sorrow that crashed the shores

Of common humanity, and we were strong, and we were awake,

And we were alert to every loud sound,

And we rose on steps and shoulders, and we rose on songs and speeches,

And we rose on embraces from strangers—

We were awake—watchful, alert to every sound—

We lit one another’s candles, we swayed in silence, swayed in song,

We shouted out to high heaven the names of the stolen,

We whispered to hell the name of the thief,

We held signs and wrote in chalk on pavement

Messages of solidarity, we assembled forests of candles,

Altars of light and tears, altars of hopelessness turned

Into hope somehow, someway, some holy

And desperate way.  And we were watchful, and we were awake,

And we were alert to every loud sound, and we were lively,

And we were strong, we were active, and we sang knowing

This was no eve of a festival—it was the eve of funerals

And heartbreak, families just finding out their loved ones

Were gay and gone—

This was the homily of tears,

This was the vigil of no tomorrow,

This was the night of never ending darkness lit up

By hearts and candles,

This was the right and human thing to do,

This was the pulse of a nation,

This was the vigil for us all.

 

 

vigil photo 2


Moment of Silence, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Moment of Silence
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Grateful as I am for the moment
Of silence, for the pausing
To stand together, breathe
Together, do nothing with our phones together,
Remember people
We did not know together,
Let us rise up together
And share a moment
Of weeping, a moment
Of rage, a moment of falling
Into each other’s arms,
A moment of shouting,
A moment of wailing and tearing
Our shirts, a moment
Of witnessing each other’s pain
Together, a moment of-
We-must-stop-this-from-ever-
Happening-again-together,
A moment of complicity,
A moment of shame as a nation,
A moment of guilt at doing nothing except
Stay silent, a moment of knowing
We must change, put an end
To any hatred within ourselves alone
In our moment of silence, alone
In our moment of grieving, alone,
In our moment of righteous indignation–
We must change–together alone, for one
Everlasting moment, for one eternity
Of silence, for one generation of silence,
Lifetime of silence, gone forever silence.
Let us be silent no more.
Let our voices be heard, our tears
Be seen, our changed minds
Be demonstrated by actions changed
And full of common sense, any
Sense, any enlightened, civilized
Semblance of sense, let us be silent
No more, let us be still no more,
Let us be revolutionary together alone now—
For the moment has passed, is
Passing—the moment is
No more.

 

 

 

 


 


Pulse by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Pulse

 

Pulse

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Pulses lost in the Pulse.
Pulses slowing, pulses struggling to flow
On floors, in hospital beds,
Behind tables, and rooms
Of young people existing
In secret and fear.
Pulses aching with grief and rage.
Pulses on fire with loss.
Pulses full of no more, no more, no more.
Pulses must become one pulse.
Your pulse. My pulse.
My transgender pulse.
Pulses of privilege and safety.
Pulses of people praying
In churches and mosques,
Synagogues, temples,
And living rooms.
Pulses of people in alleyways.
Pulses of people behind closed, political doors.
Pulses of your sisters.
Pulses of your brothers.
Pulses of those who do not identify
As brother or sister.
The pulse of deep humanity. Pulse
Within pulse, pulse within pulse.
Pulse of Pride.
Find inside ourselves,
Find inside each other,
Pulses to rise, pulses to fight,
Pulses to beat as one
To change the world,
To hold one another
In reverence and mourning,
To eradicate hate-mongering,
Barbarian pulses of those with ideas
Wrapped in blood, hypocrisy,
Shadow, pure insanity. Pulse
Within pulse. Find the one pulse
Of those who seek to live
In one rhythm stemming from one heart.
In the soul pulse of a nation
On the brink of revolution,
A revolution to breathe together
As we were meant to do.

 

me selfie