And our son, not yet 5 years old,
curled up on my lap,
hands over his head,
as if that would protect us
from our final downfall.

I remember the 4th of July
in this town without barriers
to keep us safe while
fireworks like cannons,
white plumes driving down,
burst stars and planets
in the deep blue of summer.

We huddled together under
red and white and blue incendiaries
that celebrate victory – over something –
I cannot remember what –

Only their concussion against my chest
that betrayed us in the end.