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The Day After Independence Day
Mark Trechock


The chihuahua cowered under the bed
last night as the neighbors exploded fireworks.
Free to speak and drink, they guzzled
and yelped until a downpour drove them
inside to keep their powder dry.

Today the dog wanted out early, sprinting
from one dog turd to another, rolling
in the grass, snapping at bugs, yet brought up
short twice by the distant whine
of solitary left-over bottle rockets.                       

We ambled toward the railroad tracks.
A pair of crows took perch and shrieked
in a linden tree while the oil tankers
rattled in the distance like tumbling dice.
No one knows when they’ll come up boxcars.

At the stop light, citizens drove past
on their usual errands, trucks hauled
their tires and beer, a power mower
rattled over the church lawn—all propelled
by those explosions we rely upon.

Mark Trechock writes from North Dakota, where he was the director of a community organizing project for about 20 years, and is now retired. My poems have recently appeared in Visitant, Glassworks, Former People Journal and High Desert Journal.