Over the last couple years, Fourth of July weekends have wound up being deeper days of solitude and reflection for me. And although this holiday in our imaginations and realities is marked by celebrations of giant American idyllic togetherness,  with glittering mock-explosions, awe, wonderment, parties, barbeque, and beer, my very wish to retreat from all of that for a time, also feels celebratory. Maybe it is just coincidence, or maybe I sense something deeper going on inside myself (like the winning of my individual independance from certain empire-like struggles). Either way, these days of retreat inward usually wind up in writing. This is a poem I wrote last year, on July 4th. 

My little living room glowing with lamp light

A tent where my fortress heart hides

Full pops and bursts of exploding independence dance along with cicadas and sirens in the air

The year has brought me much this day, this marker of the land

Moments launched along a widened path, scream and soar and explode with surprise