Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saluting the 4th

A Pittsburgh Fourth Of July

By Nancy Wayman Deutsch

July 4th, 2009

The boom of neighbor's cannon calls

from high on the hill across the red dog road,

saluting the grand old flag,

I, The Yankee Doodle Kid, rise up singing,

from precarious perch atop porch railing

red, white and blue, I am for you

saluting the grand old flag.

The children come, throwing caps on the porch

lighting, with purloined matches, black snakes

which sputter and curl and turn to ash

drifting away in the breeze,

leaving greasy marks on concrete

as momentos of the morning.

Next, Mt Lebanon Park with Daddy

swinging higher than I should

sultry wind in my face, laughing,

head thrown back, almost upside down

kicking, pumping, scabby legs higher and higher

nearly going over the top.

Dad Dad comes to the park

striding, despite shimmering heat

in pin striped suit and fedora hat

boxes of Hersheys and Clark Bars in hand,

Sky Bars and Musketeers, and Neccho wafers

his annual Independence Day gift, much anticipated

and quickly consumed, long before summer's end.

In Daddy's turquoise and white Chevrolet

we zoom to our neighborhood barbecue

where the Morton's Dog, always the uninvited guest

will steal a burger or two, maybe three,

delighting me, but not the one holding the empty plate.

Mother brings what she calls garbage salad

and dances in yellow skirt between the tables

her cloud of chocolate hair melting in the sun,

as the men compare notes on golf and gardens

and whether or not the Bucs will win the series.

I hug myself, for soon another feast awaits

this one in Mammaw's back yard, in between

the roses, and plaster gnomes and chickens, where

Judy and I will spit water mellon seeds across the grass

then, eat home made ice cream and lemon merange pie.

The stars begin to twinkle as we grab scratchy blankets,

walking one by one, the back way, to the high school field

where we 'ooh and ahh' to the bursts and blasts and canned music

fireworks soaring upward into the magical cobalt sky.

Shanks mare we backtrack, through the woods, to Mammaw's yard

catching glow worms in Mason jars of glass

Later, sprawled in my own Cherry bed,

windows open to the quiet summer night

I drift, smiling, softly off to sleep

the small flashing lights on bed table

pointing my chosen way to fairy lands.

Have a happy one.

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