Poet's showcase

Firecrackers and Sparklers
By Larry Rochelle

stepping inward, caught between doorway
and deliverance, each customer smiles,
then swoops forward,
gaining speed, inspired
by distance.

going back so many years replaces
traffic lights and parking meters,
joys once commonplace return, a slower life,
green leaves in tall elms
overhead, and sidewalk cracks click to roller
skates, a golden sun flickering, shattering
time, minutes into hours,
long afternoons of comic books
and Kool-Aid, grape's the best.

oaken flooring creaks pleasantly, footsteps
muffled by sawdust, toys neatly lining both sides,
the aisles bursting with slinkies and cap guns,
fire engines and space travel, momentary
displacement, middle-aged bodies leap
to touch the ceiling fans, cooler air moving
patriotic streamers, blue, red, white,
and it's the Fourth of July again,
just as it was then, back,
back when life was slow,
when mothers offered rye crisp
and cheese, chocolate chip cookies,
the dough still warm
to the touch.

-- Larry Rochelle is an English professor at Johnson County Community College. Poet's Showcase features work by area poets. Submit your poetry via e-mail with a subject line of Poet's Showcase to mpaget@ljworld.com or send typewritten (not handwritten) submissions to Mindie Paget, 645 N.H., Lawrence 66044, attn: Poet's Showcase. Teen writers should submit their work to the 18 & Under page at teens@ljworld.com.


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