Fourth of July at Toscano

From our table by the window we watch a constant
procession of leashed Poodles, Collies, Corgis and mutts
on Charles Street’s cracked brick sidewalk, one Collie
wears a flag tucked into its star-studded collar and a fat
man in baggy shorts wears a red, white and blue USA
top hat, our waitress recites house specials like poetry:
Vino Nobile Corte Alla Flora, Funghi
Portobello, Minestrone di Vedura, Argosta,
we sip our wine, across the street three starfish
decorate the sash of third story apartment windows.

Already there are crowds on Charles and Chestnut
moving to the river for the concert and fireworks,
a flag that once flew over Kandahar drapes the band shell
on the Esplanade where the Boston Pops will play
Stars and Stripes Forever, in the Back Bay a gigantic flag
hangs high on the old Hancock Building, its field of stars
as big as the restaurant while inside away from the heat on brick
and cobblestone we enjoy our minestrone and argosta.

As we eat three fighter jets roar over in formation,
soon fireworks brighter than stars will light Boston,
a cannonade of thunder and fire too much like real artillery
or like the cannonballs over Boston Harbor in the Revolution,
for all the noise it’s hard to believe in God or anything at all—
the tables at Toscano are full while outside grayness
descends into humid night, all of us happy
to at least have a holiday with good wine.