Fourth of July by Francine Rubin

Fourth of July

Gun shots or firecrackers?
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen
tells you to diffuse tantrums
by drawing rage,
attacking the page with color.
My children finally asleep,
I watch them on the monitor.
That sound again.
My chest a fist.
I grab a crayon.
“America, I am this mad,”
I whisper,
stabbing the sheet of paper
like bullets at a parade.


Francine Rubin is the author of the poetry chapbooks If You’re Talking to Me: Commuter Poems (dancing girl press), City Songs (Blue Lyra Press), and Geometries (Finishing Line Press). She is online at