memory’s vision of booms in the night

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i watched the fireworks display from the back deck steps last night.  a nice display brought to us locals by the city rec department.  i’d been sitting on the deck steps sipping a tumbler of vino and waiting for them to start.

i heard them first.  that throaty rumble off in the distance.  i guess they were some low air bursts to give the paying crowd some sorta of sense they had spent their money well.  from my vantage point of several miles away it just kicked me back in time.

it’s been many years but fireworks send me back to southeast asia.  i guess that’s the point of them in the first place.  to remind us what it takes to be free and the 232 or years since.

up close and personal fireworks are loud and at times earth shaking.  not unlike being in close proximity to an artillery battery doing what they do best.  send light and death into the night.  from my seat last night i was far enough away for it to become some other memory. 

sleeping through out going arty really doesn’t take much time to get used to.  what woke you up was the stuff in the distance.  the staccato of automatic weapons several miles away.  just rapid pops like fireworks in the night.  muted by distance and time.

star bursts illuminate the night.  eerie flares drifting and floating to earth underneath a parachute.  one tube in the battery firing only illumination rounds while the other two deal out the death and destruction. 

i can’t watch fireworks without thinking about that time long ago.  i doubt if i’m the only one on that sad lonely bus ride back in time.

parachute flares over south vietnam.

jmh

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