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Saturday, July 04, 2015


by Marilyn Peretti

At the mic on the sidewalk
some kids say justice
is the meaning of the Fourth,
some say fireworks, some
some say cookouts,
but some say justice.

Did they mean fairness,
decency, moral rightness,
equity, abiding by law?
Is this taught to children now?
Fourth of July means justice?

Maybe these wise children know
that the Fourth does not mean
burning churches of black folks,
battering a man in a police van,
giving up on finding prison escapees,
denying the poor health insurance,
or shooting pray-ers inside a church.

I wave my American flag
for what the children have learned.

Marilyn Peretti, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is published by The New Verse News and by various journals; nominated for Pushcart Prize; and publishes poetry books on She writes with fellow poets in Chicago's western suburbs.