Fireworks on the Beach

They brought all they could,
In coolers and canvas bags.

Children, draped in glow-stick necklaces,
Were dragged by their little wrists

To the beach.

The teenage girls
Wore their short shorts
Their halter tops,
And ran in packs.

The beach was thronged:
At the water's edge
There began
A sea of flesh.

Beyond the shore
A semaphore
Of lights from boats
Dotted the rimless horizon.

And then, silence fell,
As the first rocket thundered skyward
And burst into a circle of light

Applause and ooohs of delight
Heads ringed in halos of all colors
Silhouettes of thousands of heads
Turned toward the sky.

We were all crowded there
To cheer explosions
And to drink in our liberty

As ash rained down on us
We smiled at our lovers
Drank our shiraz
And wondered
About the best route home.
--Mr. Gobley

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