Tattered makeshift canvas of red, white and blue tents

speckled in cornfields of sharecroppers’ rent.

Barefoot little boys run the dirt rows,

tripping in mud puddles, stubbing their toes.

Seeking to buy fireworks, later to light the skies,

matching the sparks reflected, a twinkling in their eyes.

Nation’s birthday will soon see the fireworks blaze,

when steaming evening blossoms through dark summer haze.

Erstwhile colors will soar beyond trees,

for Amercans to watch, some kneeling on skinned knees.

His wild-eyes with amazement of holiday’s sounding,

the rainbow lights celebrating our founding.

When all that remains is gray smoke in the sky,

hearts and minds march to those whom have died.

Not only from one war, but many recast,

to give a scraped-knee child a country that will last.

copyrighted: CMM 2004