With a terrific boom, the fireworks explode in the sky. Like great bright dandelions, blown to pieces; and scattered among the clouds. Sparks burst into brilliant colors, rejoice to be free in the sky, flaring brightly — then twinkle back to blackness.

Each new explosion dazzles us, watching from below; sitting on blankets and folding chairs, fiddling with glow sticks. The crowd is illuminated from the display overhead, cast into harsh shadows that groove wrinkles into every smiling face. If anyone looks, (though who could tear their eyes from the sky?) they notice how eerie their neighbors appear.

There is a dog, barking somewhere. He does not like the noises, the loud crashes and reverberations. It hurts my ears, too: but I am to exhilarated to care.

I sit in my folding chair, staring up, and twisting my red, white and blue glow-sticks. Mom had bought a package of 48, which meant eight of each color for my sister and I. Quite luxurious. We have created headbands, belts, and bracelets; shoved glow sticks into our hair and dangled them in hoops off our ears.

It smells of firework smoke, with it’s tang on sulfur; the grass is prickly and not watered well. My watermelon gum is losing it’s flavor, and the traffic jam to get out of this throng will be ridiculous.

But it’s the Fourth of July, and there are fireworks.

So we watch, and gasp, and grin.


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