State Fair Fireworks, Labor Day
Look up: blazing chrysanthemums in rose
shriek into bloom above the Tilt-a-Whirls,
hang for a blink, then die in smoky swirls.
They scream revolt at what the body knows:
all revels end. We clap and sigh. Then, no—
another rose! another peony! break,
flame, roar, as though by roaring they might make
the rides whirl in perpetuum. As though
we need not finally, wearily turn, to plow
back through the crush of bodies, the lank air,
to buses that inch us, sweating, across town.
As though we were not dropped in silence there
to trudge the last blocks home, the streetlamps low,
the crickets counting summer's seconds down.
Maryann Corbett, "State Fair Fireworks, Labor Day," from Street View (Able Muse Press, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Maryann Corbett and the publisher.