July the 4th

John Sibley Williams

We’re lying down in a buzzcut field
watching gut-shot night sparkle &
shower us all in a hot fizzled glow.
Hiding inside ourselves as children
unsure how a country works. Rifts
excised for an hour. The distraction
of awe. Watching miniature flags
flap fiercely on thin plastic sticks.
Even the statues are forgetting their
lost battles. Moss is forgetting how
to hold the stone walls in place. So
much blue up there, our daughter
says. & reds, but together.

John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. His work can be found in The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, Arts & Letters, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Lovely. This is an excellent reading, too, one that really enhances my experience of the poem.

  2. Blues and reds…but together. A lovely commentary on our times

What do you think?