Monday, July 4


There's the whump when they're fired, the rising sigh
they climb, then the stark thump by which they blow
their safes. The fire then shinnies down the sky
like so many dark spiders on glowing
filaments. As thanks for each bright lull, we
loft, not high and not for long, a squadron
of soft, pleased cries. Also we can secede
from this to skulk, to brood sullenly on
the jingo bells, the patriotic gore,
the shattering violence these airy
filibusters flatly mimic on the lake.
Soon we'll unclump and disperse to the dark.
We're home. Lights on. We brush our teeth. Then we
douse the lights and sleep loads its projector.

-- William Matthews