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Fourth of July at Grandpa’s House

By John I. Blair

(I wrote this in a different style in 2003.
Here it is completely rewritten,
specially for the day.)

The drive through Kansas took three hours;
But time flew by as we rolled down
The narrow highway through the hills,
Stopping as always for home-made honey

From a roadside stand –
Jars on a table by the curb
Sold on trust –
An empty jar for money.

By the time we saw Missouri,
Coal mines ruled the land,
Dipper buckets, draglines
Like dinosaurs of rusty steel.

But suddenly rock piles faded back;
The fields were green and flat;
The town tree-filled and calm;
We soon took care of that!

My uncles always stocked the shed
With fireworks for us boys:
Skyrockets, cherry bombs, two-inchers,
Packs of lady fingers.

As soon as dark began,
Off we ran onto the lawn,
Careful not to trip on mole runs,
Lighting each firecracker from the last,

Tossing them at each other, at the drive,
Thrilling as they banged and boomed and burst,
Echoing off the shingled walls
Of Grandpa’s house.

And look out moles!
We blasted holes in tunnel walls,
And filled the inky country sky
With flaming roman candle balls.

By ten, when all good people go to bed,
We were worn out, half-deaf,
A burn or two to show,
Ready for watermelon, lemonade,

Then climbing steep stairs to the loft
For sleep, and dreams of glorious noise.

©2003, 2016 John I. Blair

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