I was pruning the rose bushes along our house, pressed up against the clapboards, when I had the strangest feeling that I had stepped into a snapshot collage of my life: thorn, blood, house, half-hidden, wet moss under my knees, a cat bird screeching in the lilacs. This morning, I’m wearing a bulky sweater. Oh, Vermont July, how I love you.
Every year, my daughters and I end up in some lengthy discussion about the Fourth of July. This year, as if jointly agreeing to avoid words, we ate ice cream and lit sparklers after dark. The fireflies blinked, in their own particular journeys.
Here’s a poem in its entirety from Tony Hoagland’s Twenty Poems That Could Save America:
Even if the geraniums are artificial
Just the same,
In the rear of the Italian café
Under the nimbus of electric light
They are red; no less red
For how they were made. Above
The mirror and the napkins
In the little white pots . . .
. . . In the semi-clean café
Where they have good
Lasagna . . . The red is a wonderful joy
Really, and so are the people
Who like and ignore it. In this place
They also have good bread.”“The Geraniums” by Genevieve Taggard