Bio Note: My wife and I continue to enjoy the retired life in upstate New York, perched right on the edge of the Adirondack Park. We like to get off the pavement into the woods on a daily basis. I scribble in my journal daily and never know where that’ll lead me. Thanks for reading, and you’re all invited to visit my website if you’re curious about my doings.
These Are the Days of Tardy Fireworks
These are the days of tardy fireworks spitting and popping, ripping the sky above the beach, flashing grandstands at the deserted stadium, or dud-thunking onto neighborhood pavement to the puzzlement of curious dogs and children. Meanwhile sparklers fizz on porches, being used up weeks after the Fourth of July came and went, like so many holidays we can't seem to let go of, Christmas boxes piled in the corner for months, Easter candy hardening in drawers, and it's all of a piece with books unread on shelves for years, dresses you'll never fit into again in this life, stray keys in cups, high school yearbooks packed away somewhere, or possibly lost, completely consumed by the mice of time in an attic you must have set foot in sometime, for how else did your report cards get there, your dead dog's leash, the broken knife you brought home from Scout camp and never looked at again, as far as you recall.
Plans for the Summer Solstice
Yes, light starts slipping away today, but Lord, preserve me from big ideas. Let me stay local all my days. Today I want to pick up pennies from the sidewalk, write a friend I haven't seen in forty years, and tell her my plans for the day. Nothing. If there's time, I want to look long into my dog's face before leaving the house. And here’s a thought: let’s not read the newspaper for once. See if the world wobbles on its axis. I may just drive to the coast and back just to see if she had a vision or I had a vision, or if at least there's still anything great on the radio in America. Does my friend remember the night we went rollerskating on the solstice and felt so old, forty-five years ago, teetering and careening from ice cream vendor to park bench—collapsing there laughing? And do we both still feel shaky on our feet?
The Greatness of America
Resolved, That even the lowliest burgs all boast a fine history and two-color brochure of renewal; That you can't ever stroll some farmer's pasture without treading ground of the last battlefield of the Revolution, or childhood home of robber baron or suffragist; That the human spirit so hungers for renown it will bake the world's largest cookie on an improvised miracle of sheet metal and gas jets, or lift toward heaven the planet's grandest chair, bragging of the President who fled decades ago from these hallowed bean fields, this civic bandstand; That none of this truly matters when sun strikes down the Welcome sign, erasing our whole population with one surge of light; That the opera hall next to the old A & P is architecturally unique and must be preserved before it slides like a bonfire into its own past; That if we could just fill the boarded stores downtown then surely the tourist trickle would river wide all summer, all winter—drawn as our grandparents were to this motley paradise, where the oldest, smallest, deepest, and strangest abide. Our famous church. That gargantuan hat. This tale polished to perfection.
©2022 David Graham
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