A few days after the 4th, but still relevant. From my book of poetry START AGAIN (Red Mountain, 2022). This is an earlier version than the published one, a bit harsher and I’m in the mood for it.
“What’s that noise?” the wife asks the husband
even after so many years
night noises, raccoons, and the Federal Government
are his problem to solve.
It’s not late, before midnight
“Firecrackers?” he speculates
although it sounds like gunshot
and we’re just blocks from the capitol building
where armed men show the threat of force
against our governor.
That sounds straightforward,
but really I don’t understand
what they want
other than to bully us with a supposed right.
But probably the husband is correct,
It’s midsummer’s night, and America’s birthday
a few weeks away
although frankly I’m not sure
this country of mine
deserves much of a party.
Much later, towards the witching hour
skunks head home and spray
through our bathroom window
that opens on the narrow alley
that creatures use to cross.
The thrashers are sleeping
in the blossoming cholla bush,
not once in all these years
has the invisible neighbor’s orange cat
manage to catch a bird
in all those cactus needles.