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July 2018, vol 14 no 2

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Charlotte Mandel

New Home on the Fourth of July

From my balcony, I watch fireworks shooting up from the high school football field a half-mile away. The wooden floor under my feet shudders. I shiver to a sharp whistling whine each time a pole of light shoots upward to explode into showers of crackling colored lights – red, green, white globes and banners of fire. But at the first sudden burst of sound, mockingbirds, finches and doves driven from sleep in their summer nests fly at top speed past my view. Jets of light strafe the sky, my eardrums vibrate to boom after boom.

smoke trails vaporize
nestlings' beaks
strained open