From year to year, my experience on independence day has rarely varied much. Back in 2007 (when the photo above was taken) I got to celebrate the day with a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds out at Camp Reveal, but such was a unique year. Fourth of July usually goes as follows: spend the afternoon setting off random bottle rockets and Black Cats, hot dogs or hamburgers for supper, then hanging out after dark on the back hill watching the neighbors light off fireworks.
For whatever reason, however, something about this year’s routine felt uniquely surreal, and I decided to capture it in verse. What do you think – did this year’s 4th of July feel any different to you?
It sounded of a gunfight,
Bright balloons popping into a thousand
Shiny pieces, rubber showering down.
Twas a night often remembered
In history books, aided by commercialism,
Marking the beginning of one in the other.
Products to keep off bugs, while the parade
Goes on, deep into the rambunctious night,
With gatherers twirling sparkles of liberty.
Marching drum percussion accents proclamation
Of delight, as each wonder engulfs the sky,
Briefly silhouetting the figure who released it.
Those who care not or cannot afford eagles
Lighting the sky, sit in chairs gazing over trees
In the hope of catching a moment’s cherry burst.
Intrigue motivates others to drive southwards
To the river, rewarded by a show without equal,
Matched only by others miles downstream.
Night looses the battle against celebration
As noise lingers, obscured in a powder fog,
Laughter and cheers striking the bell at midnight.
Only a sliver of honey moon can be made out
Through smoke, an occasional grenade resounding,
Jubilation’s sent on the wind – freedom’s tingle in the air.