Independence Day Nightfall
by Jeffrey Alfier

He stumbles past families on lawn chairs,
finds open grass along the courthouse green
and puzzles birds with his depth of slumber.
Wind frees empty beer cans from his keeping.
Women glare at him like a dirty dish
a careless child placed among clean china.

Headlights at a piercing angle wake him
to a young girl in white, twirling our flag.
Under hypnotic rockets and sparklers
she will fall asleep on her father’s lap.
The man on the grass takes less persuasion
to drift off again. A whisper will do.

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