Fourth of July Reno Nevada 2017
(From The Rhyme of the Ancient Middle Class)
1. Fourth in the City
As sweat began to bead off our foreheads,
my Mom and I in our respected seats,
my hands did roar with push of airy beats,
a noise that drove in silences used treads.
Where I was reading essays on poetry
and her newly acquired novel on her lap,
the heat whose fingers lured me to nap
when she was reading her mystery.
Arrived with all her luggage from her trip
to spend the day in my new city home
with iced tea and our company to sip
an empty space where marriage was undone,
our moments up and down as metronome.
2. Memories of the Fourth
I miss rituals and routines of past
to wake early and prepare the children,
to load the car to celebrate again,
to create memory with hope to last.
With folding chairs and canopy to share
our cooler full of waters to be drunk
on liberty our feelings far from sunk
a patriotism seen in parade.
But liberty does not change with each new year,
a definition largely due to place,
a shaded wooded grove without a fear,
a city where we are free to find worth,
a town to live in with dignity and grace.
3. American Independence
I dreamt the stories mother told me
a stop in middle Kentucky corn
where feast upon wooden table adorn
every mile on road to New Jersey.
She told of home with solid foundations,
an America built on families,
on yards shaded by enormous Oak trees,
Always feeling welcome without caution.
To end her trip on porch of New Jersey house,
a story of immigrants from Russia share,
a neighborhood now filled with its own wealth
and iced tea, my Mom in springtime blouse,
she says this journey made her more aware
of miles and miles outside her home and health.