For better or for worse, the word “firework” is one of those words we feel—I’ve broken out in hives, and I’ve felt my heart beat for pure joy of seeing millions of sparkles exploding in the sky. I was reminded of this last week when my husband, Jesse, and I took our daughters, Hadley and Harper, to the July 4th fireworks show.
Truth be told, I was exhausted after a bike ride, being at the pool all day in 90-degree heat, and, while I hate to complain about the longer hours of daylight in Michigan, my patience was waning waiting for the first blast of color I knew wouldn’t shoot into the sky until well after 9:30 at night.
Jesse lit sparklers for the girls as we waited in an open field in a neighboring town. Being in this field was difficult, as even though it’s been two years since we moved, I am exhausted from trying so hard to fit in, from making friends, from figuring out what job I should pursue, from learning my way around (both literally and figuratively). Sitting somewhere I haven’t sat before was a reminder of all the newness that surrounds me. I wanted to feel something nostalgic.
“Are these for us?” A little girl next to us asked, exuberantly and hopefully, as the first fireworks shot up into the air and sprinkled the sky with white, gold, green, and red lights. I chuckled and was thankful for the reminder to look for gifts everywhere and to be in awe that, yes, they are for us.
“I like the sizzle they make,” a gentleman behind me said in a gruff voice. I didn’t turn to look at him, but he sounded distinctly Midwestern, and I imagined he worked with his hands most of the day. I imagined he was wearing a denim work shirt, rolled up at the sleeves and maybe a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, that beautiful and confident “D” scripted in the center. I agreed with him, although didn’t say it: I liked the sizzle the fireworks made too.
“Watch how they squiggle,” Hadley said, pointing and yelling to us over the crackles and bangs. She was smiling, and she looked like she did when she was a toddler, and my heart swelled for my girl who is also figuring out her world and her place in it. Where does she fit in? Who are her friends? What is she good at? Indeed, these fireworks are for her too, and it’s good to notice their squiggle and to be joyous because of it.
“The sparkles falling down sound like rain on a window,” Harper said, holding her stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh that she’s had since she was four months old. I told her in the car she probably shouldn’t take him to the fireworks because I was afraid he’d get lost, but really, I was nervous how others would react to my girl holding her beloved Bear. “And the smoke is the ghost of a past firework,” she said, holding Bear up towards the sky, the fireworks’ reflection glittering in her rose-pink rimmed glasses.
“I wish I was a firework,” the little girl next to us declared. “I would never turn to melt.”
I laced my fingers with Jesse’s and leaned towards him.
“I’m so glad we are here,” I told him, and I didn’t only mean this field, this night. I meant I’m glad to be with my family, wherever we are, looking for and acknowledging the gifts that sparkle around us.
When we got home, I jotted down an attempt at an onomatopoeia poem about fireworks:
Sparkles falling down –
rain on a window.
I wish I was a firework,
I would never turn to melt.
May my memories that so many times feel like fireworks bursting in my heart and mind never, never melt.
For this week’s prompt, let’s write Onomatopoeia Firework Poetry.
Onomatopoeic words are words that sound like their meanings: buzz, crackle, thunk, hustle.
- Make a list of words that sound like fireworks.
- Create your poem around those words (it doesn’t have to rhyme).
- Post your poem in the comments of this post.
Here are a couple of examples from my daughters, Hadley and Harper.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Donna that we enjoyed.
I could scarcely hear my friend
Over the tinkling of diamonds
Dangling in the evening sun
Suspended one by one
From tips of a thousand pine needles
Like a crown
Atop her head.
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