The Boom Inside

By Candice Mast

We watch from a distance,
From a parking lot smelling fish and lemons.
Tiny spark and shower.
Remote as stars
The children dangle their feet from the hood of the car
The radio blares songs about American pride.
“Where at least I know I’m free.”
We’ve been gone so long now
Am I immigrant?
Citizen?
Adopted child?
Am I any freer here under the same moon?
Homeland love, homeland hate.
Are my children still your children too?

We are so far away, we can’t feel the boom now,
The one I remember from my childhood
Watching fireworks lying on my back on the New Market
battlefield,
Where I could feel them inside my small body,
Like an wild and alien heart,
Overriding my own heartbeat;
Panicked delight.
I look up now at my children’s lit faces,
Want them to feel the boom inside.

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