4th of July

by Brian

Right before the 4th of July, the boy entered the Army.

He hugged the dogs goodbye and told the old one, “don’t you die on me while I’m gone, girl.”


Come the 4th of July next year, the old dog was still alive,

but the boy was dead, killed in Afghanistan,

a place he did not belong.


His mother carried a flag in his honor at the town’s 4th of July parade.

They spoke her son’s name. The crowd cheered.

That night, the woman wept while the old dog barked at the fireworks.