The Fourth of July


Here it is, the Fourth of July, 2013 CE:

Banners, streamers, flags, parades--

Much drinking of cold beer,

Much eating of watermelon,

Much eating of everything fitting

The celebration of the grand occasion.


And in the sky: fireworks,

Bombs exploding without harm,

Lighting up the sky,

Causing those who are visiting this country

To wonder at the meaning of it all.


And in cities, towns, villages, and on farms,

The thought will come to some:

What is the meaning of it all?

And they will wonder

How the rebellion was made,

How the people gained self-rule,

How the people kept those things British

That worked for them,

The  law and the language,

Keeping the ways of greeting and bidding goodbye.


And how there was expansion

And war against the Indians,

And how there was an empire built and lost.


Yes, the Fourth of July

Is a time for reflection.


--July 1, 2013