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Monthly Verse

Independence Day

July spills on the steps like the groceries of a man opening the door, too ambitious.

Fireworks bloom, as if the roofs have ideas. Cigarettes flick into the grass like crickets.

Families flank the block. Sons and daughters juxtapose, some taller, more handsome.

Dark no darker than dusk. In the streets, mothers gather debris before the headlights.

Though the radio signals die, the children continue to harmonize with the dogs.

Through night's opacity, their names diffuse, held out in polyphony, into storm sirens.

The children reveal themselves in the heat, from the bushes and trees, off the shedtops,

their clothes gunpowdered, their burns minor, eyeglasses crushed in a fray. The dogs, lost.

They forget that the neighborhood shadows can be so savage, take what they want to take.

By Justin Runge

Fjords Reviews Artists - Justin Runge Justin Runge

Justin Runge currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he serves as designer of Parcel and editor of Blue Hour Press. Poems of hhis can be found in DIAGRAM, Linebreak, Harpur Palate and elsewhere. I can be found at

Work for Monthly Verse is selected through our editorial process. New poems are selected from authors that submitted work for the last issue. Read more authors by subscribing to Fjords.