by Pat Hanson (July 4, 2004 & July 3, 2019)
We’re fireworks aficionados
My significant equal and I
‘saw the millennium spectacle in 1999
with half a million on Washington, DC’s mall
Marked the 4th of 2000
‘cross the river from Manhattan Island
We revel in pop, crack, pound-your-heart outbursts
Spiraling, star-trek beaming
melting into the oceans’ edge.
this time in San Diego harbor
raining stardust ash on a ga-zillion dollar aircraft carrier
named aptly for a dead president
an actor turned commander in chief
his wife Nancy of ‘just say no’ fame
they chose this metropolis of military seamen and fighting ships
year round sunshine
over fog and Fort Washington further north
to call home-base for this war machine
Why is it we wonder so?
Breathe collective sighs of awe
Simultaneously shout at the shock
Reel from the gunbursts
we are safe
that this is pretend gun violence?
Is it a reminder
To stay in the moment
fixated on movie-screen space and no-time?
Forgetting during these twenty minute moving miracles
The dead soldiers
Grief wrecked families
Sacrifices made to keep us free?
As I walk through the smoke
Created by celestial skyscreens
I find myself praying
Harder than ever before
No more killing,
We want a world where we all remember
with kindness all peoples
All places …
Because there’s only one of us here.