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.