On a beach waiting to witness
works of fire thundering forth for the Fourth of July,
sparklers burst against a cloudy sunset—
the flames of liberty burning out fast.
and the main event announces itself
with flash-bangs against the firmament:
Declarations of incandescence,
self-evident in their light, loudness, and pursuit of happy viewers.
United they fall,
a coterie of combusted paper—
explosive evidence of
Yet after the rockets’ rainbow glare
burst in the air,
what was still there?
Susurrant waves. Crescent moon. Winking starlight.
O see, can you say:
The ancients abide o’er the land.
(Of the free?
We the people disagree.)