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Island Quintet, New Works by Vineyard Poets

The Fourth of July

There is talk at the pool
of barbecues and picnics.
But we stay close
watching from the high terrace
flashes of fireworks
bursting across the skyline.


We draw back the bedroom curtain
for you to see,
you, our dying patriot.


We tell you that you can go
and you hear our brave goodbyes
even as we trip
on the edges of our loss.
Yet you gaze past us
your eyes held in rapt salute
to a standard
somewhere far in the night sky
beyond the colors
of red white and blue.