Sunday, July 4, 2010

An Olfactory Fourth

[Photo: Alice Gilbert]

Pulled pork, grilled franks, hoppy beer—a backyard feast followed by round after round of fireworks: screamers, starbursts, pinwheels descending on parachutes. Clouds of burned gunpowder drifting across the hot, humid lawn, reminding us of the flintlocks at Concord and of all those since who have risked their lives in defense of our freedom.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world. 

The foe long since in silence slept; 
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; 
And Time the ruined bridge has swept 
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. 

On this green bank, by this soft stream, 
We set today a votive stone; 
That memory may their deed redeem, 
When, like our sires, are sons are gone. 

O Thou who made those heroes dare 
To die and leave their children free, 
Bid Time and Nature gently spare 
The shaft we raise to them and Thee.


~x~ said...


Unknown said...

The sharp metallic smell of sparklers is part of summer for me!