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Sunday, July 12, 2015

JULY 5th

by Marjorie Maddox

All the flag-clad oohs and ahhs fizzle
just past midnight, a slight singe of burn
hovering over today: patriotic hangover
with stars and stripes banging about in brains
that never Ok’d reciting names and dates
in 4th grade History. Such a dazzling,
distracting explosion: all that reality behind
the pomp, so ceremoniously like that other
season’s parade: winter’s green/red (the frigid
red/white/blue) pa-rum-pa-pum-pummed
into “Little Drummer Boy” with only tepid recognition
of the day’s conviction. Holy Mother
of Jefferson, the fireworks’ dizzy outbursts
of Me! Me! Me! reveal our belief in nothing
but the day’s commemoration, the morning after’s
leftover hot dogs or eggnog a hodge-podge of forgotten births:
nation and God piped-in patriotically
as afterthought for the background.

Director of Creative Writing and professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has 9 books of poetry, most recently Local News from Someplace Else Wipf & Stock 2013), which focuses on living in an unsafe world, and an ebook of Perpendicular As I, winner of the 1994 Sandstone Book Award.