American Flag Icon Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

Similes about fountains
and just who bought the fireworks
don’t really matter. But I refuse
to rename our parents
with names we didn’t use
or to pretend patriotism was our goal,
above family.

Mummy’s potato salad—
always requested & always made
in Paw’s old Tom & Jerry bowl—
became an important part of our Family 4th.
We all gathered at Michael’s about three,
so our kids could get in the pool.
The pool was a stock tank bought by our parents.

Of course, we had a cookout:
hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon,
the works.  Someone always prayed before
we ate. And we were silently thankful
we were a family together.
No one mentioned independence,

but sometimes we relived family memories
like wearing Indian shoes, while pounding
crazy hammers overloaded with caps
& having to wait for Daddy to retrieve
multi-colored feather-tops from the roof,
after work.

Often there was a rain delay.
We waited forever for dark every year—
chatting & laughing—
before we decided which kids
were old enough to be trusted
with matches and punk.

published in The Broad River Review