Happy Fifth of July!

I post this poem every year. And by the way, I hate fireworks. They’re stupid and they upset my dogs, and where I live it’s legal to stand around in the cul-de-sac like a moron and shoot these idiotic explosives into the sky while simultaneously downing copious amounts of Natural Light and keeping the kids up way past their bedtime. God bless America. OK, I’m not actually this surly. I’m only partially serious. 

Fifth of July

The streets are sharded with bits
of confetti, petty patriotic explosions.

The neighbors are still asleep, tucked beneath
what’s left of the gray haze hovered over
their driveways, their skin singed with sweat
and sulphur. Backyard dogs react

to a distant siren, their howl like rust
on a chain-link gate, like sparks
from a blacksmith’s hammer.
When they are done, the dawn
is heavy with calm. Neatly numbered curbs

prop amber toppled bottles. Trash bags,
tarry-black, collapse on the grass.

One rubber sandal in the center
of the road, elastic casualty
of a manufactured battle, points
its open toes towards concession.


8 thoughts on “Happy Fifth of July!

  1. Word! I always feel like Mr. Wilson sitting on my porch ready to call the fire department when one of their %1000 rockets hits my house.

    • I tend to get crotchety over any event I view as a mandatory celebration (you MUST celebrate this event or you are a bad American/Christian/family member, etc.) so to go and throw explosives into the mix is more than I can stand.

      • Not only are we bad American/Christian/neighborhood members, but my dogs go apeshit, too. Truly, they just lose it. And not in cute ways–in totally “please either commit me to the asylum or give me valium” kind of batshit.

        • I actually have Valium for Penny, not necessarily for the fireworks but for the fact that she went through a phase where every time I had to put her in the car to go to the vet or the groomer, she would crap in it. Oh, hey, maybe the Valium was for ME…

  2. Love this poem. And I hate fireworks, too. They make everything so smokey and all the neighborhood kids try to scream over them and mosquitos bite you all over if (for some godforsaken reason) you want to watch them. Anyway, CGI fireworks look even better than the real thing, are less smokey, less noisy, and I can watch them on my computer from the convenience of my bedroom.

    • Ha ha ha my husband and I were just coming back from eating dinner and we were making fun of the crowds at all the fireworks stands around here, and then I saw your comment and read it out loud. He likes your idea too. Actually we just fired up our ancient old Wii and are going to bowl instead. Maybe they make Wii fireworks.

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