On This Fourth of July

I wish the madness
to quiet, if only
for a moment.

The crack of hate
in rifle fire,
the murder in

a patriot’s angry
eye, or one neighbor
killing another.

Let the scurry
for capital,
crushing the

weak on the
way to the top
of this burning

heap halt and,
for once, let
voices calling

for peace ring
out across
the land. Peace.

We need that
word back on
the tongues

of children, soldiers,
waitresses and
garbage men.

So I wish not for
fireworks and
parades today,

but for silence,
stillness in a wave
of well-being

like nothing ever
felt before, this
Fourth of July.

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.