In my youth (as I recall through mists of swirling memory),
A fireworks show strolled at the pace of, oh, a baseball game.
The pitch! A single rocket soars into the night
Its firey trail to mark ascension to the heights,
A swing! A hit! A long fly ball, or rather,
Globes of glowing color flash across the night.
Then, pause: await the next deliberate pitch,
The next delightful glory in the sky.
And now, as I survey the skies of Baltimore,
Where rockets climb in pageantry
Around the Inner Harbor, I see that we have changed
Our sport. Baseball has lost place to football
(Soccer to Americans) in the rapid pace
Of these ascending spectacles.
Indeed, this fireworks show has paused not once,
As if the referee had never called offsides,
That neither team had scored a goal,
That every track the ball had traced
Above the emerald turf had swerved,
Approaching not the boundary of play,
And summoning the players to chase it
I sigh. Is it just simple, pure nostalgia that
I find that I prefer my (granted, poor)
Old memories of fireworks shows “of yore?”
Or is it that I’ve come to value pauses,
And anticipation, and the poignant joy
Of wondering just where upon the rainbow
This next starburst will have found its flame?
Well, both, I’m sure, and more.
For I have come to live much of my life
Uncertain of the rainbow’s hue ahead,
Of rocket’s shape, and whether it will sigh, or pop,
Yes, I’ll watch this grand, frenetic fireworks show,
Glad that in the climb and soar of life,
I have the grace to pause from time to time