day of freedom

It’s the fourth of July.

I hear explosions outside.

I stand up from my bed.

I walk toward my window.

I look to the sky.

I see fireworks launched by my neighbours.

I open the window.

My neighbours are singing the Star Spangled Banner.

In their garden, little American flags in their bands.

You don’t see anything weird, do you ?

Well I’ll tell you.

I’m french.

And I’m in fucking France right now.

5

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

- Charles M. Province