42 A Quiet Fourth Fran and I much alone this bright mild day With the boys scattered, friends too, mostly, so It’s Sousa and Ives out on the patio (And how subtly the Ives lets the attention stray); Then work on a fly rod, later get away For a run at Hendry’s, when the tide is low. My last run down there was six weeks ago — Summer crowds, and a new fee I won’t pay. But on the Fourth you want a crowd, I learn, So down I go: beach flat, sea calm, clear, warm. In and beside it, in every tint, size, form, People, with frisbee, radio, sunburn. — Drive back, see centered formally on a top stair A beer, beneath a flag limp in the cooling air. — July 4, 1978 85