Free

Today it is the Fourth of July,

And when my son finds me

In the hallway, asking why,

I tell him about independence

And how it means being free.

But I already know, how

Tonight we will walk down

Dark streets, my husband and I,

Our two sons, in between us,

Searching for fireworks to see

In the blackened sky, and how

One street will cross over

The other street like a muscle

Stretching over bone, or how

There will be people on lawns,

Shadows we can barely make out

In this darkness, gathering behind

Trees and shrubs and houses and

How they will set off fireworks,

Small ones, we will tell our sons,

Setting them off in the night,

From their driveways and how,

The air in this neighborhood will

Fill with pops and bangs, under

A bigger, now exploding sky, and

My husband will say walk faster,

Because the sound makes him nervous,

Because it sounds like

Weapons firing,

Or a VBIED going off,

Close or in the distance,

And because my husband can still hear war,

Even, here, in America,

Where we are standing,

On this dark street corner,

That is one hundred feet away from our front door.

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