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When I hear fireworks

July 5, 2009

I think of soldiers.

They are, after all, explosions—small ones. Microcosmic versions of the explosions lighting the sky and darkening the earth in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Iran, Honduras.

Reminders.

I think of ex soldiers in the VA right now who can’t get away from the sound of the explosions in their heads, and now for one very special night, get to hear them in their ears too.

I think of the wind we had earlier in the day, and how I enjoyed feeling the breeze freshening on my face, and then suddenly thought, almost irrelevantly: It’s been dry, and there will be blowing sparks.

A brief moment of fear—a small one. Microcosm of the fear felt by one huddling in a shelter, listening: Is it getting closer? closer? Not a comparison—a reminder.

I think of a twisted scar I saw on a childhood friend’s thigh. Her cousin shooting off bottle rockets, unsupervised, with the five year old baby playing nearby. I think of a neighbor’s roof burning. I think of roofs burning in Gaza. Small American children rehearsing what soldiers do with deadly purpose.

When I hear fireworks, I think of soldiers.

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