The Night of a Thousand Sparkling Lights

Whi-i-i-i-stle. Whi-i-i-i-stle. Don’t breath … BOOM!
Wait for it! Wait for it! Sparkles and crackles
illuminate the night with a hundred falling stars.

“Oooo! Ahhh!” older humans proclaim
as toddlers cry in fear
and preschoolers cover their ears.

The hour-long sit on musty blankets,
the every-other-minute “when’s it going to start?” whine,
the necks craned back while eyes focus high,

and the zillion new mosquito bites
were worth the twenty minutes of explosions
and splashes of patriotism across American skies.

Blankets sloppily draped on sticky arms,
midst a hum of vehicular exits
and sleepy heads are carried home.

Like Christmas in July:
raucous time with family,
foods, sweets, and laughter,

We remember where we live
and the cost for that privilege.
We celebrate our Independence

Across this great land –
in every town big and small –
of the United States of America.

Independence Day

Up With People used to sing
“Freedom isn’t free.”
Somebody … lots of somebodies

had to pay a price.
Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers
had to sacrifice.

Liberty costs
comfort, time, self, …

Be it a soldier
or our Savior –
or SAFE parents –

requires we count the cost
with hope for a better day.

©Cheri Johnson July 2016


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